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Look Around

In John 4, there is a fantastic story. After meeting the salvation needs of a Samaritan woman, Jesus turned to his disciples and called them to look for the salvation needs that existed in the lives around them. By the term “salvation needs,” I mean the needs we all have to be saved from the sin that entangles us that we can’t work, earn, or talk ourselves out of.

Jesus says, “Look! Open your eyes and see. The fields are white until harvest” (John 4:35). It takes little more than a glance at the news headlines to see that there is an unprecedented opportunity to harvest the seeds of grace and mercy that God has sown into the fabric of our existence. Most of us will look with a passing glance at the needs in the field, but few will be courageous enough to look long enough to intentionally respond to this commission that Jesus has given to each of us. In the surrounding verses, as we observe the interaction between Jesus and the disciples, we learn some interesting things about what it means to look and respond to the massive harvest around us.\

Here is something you’ll notice as you seek to look as Jesus asks us to look:

- Seeing as God sees may mean that we are being exposed to the unusual. It was so unusual that it was almost scandalous for the disciples when they saw Jesus talking with one who was a) a woman and b) of Samaritan origin (verse 27). Sometimes, to see things from God’s perspective, we must look around the corner of our everyday lives into something that may be a little unusual.

- Seeing as God sees sometimes means turning our statements into questions. Note how, in verse 29, this woman of low reputation doesn’t return to her town and make a statement that she has met the Messiah. She returns and says, “I may have met the Messiah.” Why? Because people respond better to questions rather than statements. Our questions should lead people to make their life-defining statements about Jesus.

- Seeing as God sees means leaving our preconceived notions at home. Jesus communicates to the disciples based on a well-known proverb in their culture: "You have heard it said that there are four months until harvest” (verse 35). But he turns this statement on its head because, in terms of salvation, “Today is the day.” Often, if we want to see as Jesus sees, we must leave our preconceived cultural notions at home.

- Seeing as God sees ensures that God gets more glory. Verse 27-31. Everyone wins when we see things from God’s perspective (verse 36). To the Jew, sowing was a sad and laborious time; the harvest was the time of joy (Psalm 136:5-6). There are many roles that we are unable to do before a harvest can take place. Farmers plow, fertilize, sow, and weed before harvesting. However, they don’t provide the sun and rain. God has to get the glory!

- Seeing as God sees means we become his agents. (verse 39). God cannot deliver his word unless he has someone to deliver it. A revival happened in this town because Jesus saw the woman like no one else did (verse 41).

- Seeing as God sees it means we fully see Jesus as the world's Savior. Clarity of sight means seeing Jesus as the Savior of the world! The town had no doubt labeled the lady as being beyond reformation. Be she and the city's people needed a Savior (verse 42). He had come not just to be the Jews’ Messiah, but the Worlds.

For people to see that Jesus is the Savior of the world, we need to “Look” at the people as he sees them.“Look – the fields are white unto harvest”!

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