Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - The virtuous woman creates a home as a type of Christ, part 7.
PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
PRO 31:12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
PRO 31:13 She looks for wool and flax,
And works with her hands in delight.
PRO 31:14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
PRO 31:15 She rises also while it is still night,
And gives food to her household,
And portions to her maidens.
PRO 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
PRO 31:17 She girds herself with strength, And makes her arms strong.
PRO 31:18 She senses [tastes] that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
The harvest of the fruit that Jesus sowed began immediately. No dark force can stop God’s harvest reaped by His loving people.
JOH 4:6 Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well.
It is said of the excellent woman that “her lamp does not go out at night.” Jesus is stricken (literally the word means a beating), yet He will wonderfully and personally minister to this woman and to her entire village.
JOH 4:25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."
JOH 4:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
JOH 4:27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He had been speaking with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?"
JOH 4:28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city, and said to the men,
JOH 4:29 "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?"
JOH 4:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
JOH 4:31 In the meanwhile the disciples were requesting Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
JOH 4:32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
The disciples were concerned for Him. He may have even looked a bit weary or faint (vs. 6). Though He was weary, His lamp did not go out when the work was afoot.
JOH 4:33 The disciples therefore were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?"
JOH 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.
He has just finished speaking with the Samaritan woman and she has gone up to her village to tell them that the actual Messiah is at the well. As the disciples are wondering how Jesus got any food, the Samaritans from the village are filing towards Him along the path through the fields.
In the beginning of His talk with the Samaritan woman, they were both talking about water, but not the same water. The same has now occurred with the disciples concerning food.
Food has a different meaning for Jesus than it does for the disciples, just as it was for water between Him and the woman. Their definitions (and ours) must move towards His.
It is the same gap that exists for so many between their own sight and that of the excellent woman of Pro 31. Without seeing all things through the lens of the mind of Christ, what do family, marriage, children, work, home, entertainment, relationships look like? Now slide in the filter that is the mind of Christ and see how they change. Everything runs through the prism of righteousness, love, peace, and a destiny of glory. Slide that filter away and all goes back to the gray and white of human cares and the finite that ends in nothing.
All of us have got to come to define satisfaction and fulfillment as she does. Our only thirst and hunger must be righteousness, MAT 5:6.
As food fulfills our hunger and water our thirst, so righteousness must be the substance that fulfills our lives. “Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be satisfied.”
He says to His disciples, “Lift up your eyes.” The fruit of His labor is coming towards them, dozens of Samaritans.
JOH 4:35 "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
“lift up your eyes and look on the fields” = the Samaritans filing towards them.
Jesus travelled, spoke to the woman, revealed Himself and His love, and His living water, and the fruit was born. He is now revealing to the disciples that the souls of people are the true harvest and that they are the reapers. The harvest of the world has begun and it is the souls of men. The harvest is not gold, silver, power, or reputation.
The work of sowing and reaping in God’s kingdom is Jesus’ food, more important than actual food, and He is showing the disciples that this same attitude must be true in them, and subsequently us as well.
It is important that the exodus that is heading towards them are Samaritans, not pure Jews, and who are considered outcasts by the Jews. The fields are already producing. Gentiles are being saved directly.
Water and food - necessities of life have now become eternal life (living water) and the plan of God (bread of life).
Eternal life is the term referring to all of God’s life as it works within us. It includes the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, our status as new creatures in Christ, and the life and conduct that goes with that, which is the life of Christ. The bread of life is the will of the Father for our lives or His plan or predestination.
With these as our necessary provisions, and only being in need of these, we will never thirst or hunger, i.e., we will always be full.
JOH 4:36 "Already he who reaps [disciples] is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows [Jesus] and he who reaps may rejoice together.
The reaping of eternal life doesn’t take four months like sowing and reaping crops. Already the believers are coming, and so he who sows and he who reaps meet together, and they rejoice.
JOH 4:37 "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows, and another reaps.'
JOH 4:38 "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Jesus planted this crop and both He and the disciples will remain in the Samaritan city for two more days. The disciples will reap this harvest. They are fortunate to see it. Others have sown and never get a chance to see the harvest of their labor. If they sow as unto the Lord, this will not concern them.
I think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who did a lot of his writing when he was in prison in Germany. He died before anyone even saw those pages. The apostles all died before they could see the fruit of their labor. I have seen Christian writers interviewed about their recent books and they seem to only want to plug the book. They want endorsements so that they will sell millions of them. They are trying to force the issue of reaping, which no one can. Even if they were to sell millions of books, what did they reap? Money? Fame? Speaking engagements?
We should all wish to leave a legacy. And we should all wish that others enjoy the fruit of our labor.
1CO 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.
1CO 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
1CO 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
1CO 3:4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men?
1CO 3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
1CO 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1CO 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
1CO 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one [JOH 4:36 “he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together”]; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1CO 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.