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In John 4, there is a fantastic story. After meeting the salvation needs of a Samaritan woman, Jesus turns to his disciples and calls them to look for the salvation needs that exist 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 vast harvest that exists around us. Click here to read the rest of the chapter in John 4.

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 uncommon 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 need to look around the corner of our everyday lives at something that may be a little unusual for us.

  • Seeing as God sees sometimes means turning our statements into questions. Note how, in verse 29, this woman of low reputation doesn't go back to her town and make a statement that she had 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 communicated to the disciples based on a statement that is 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 we cannot do before a harvest can occur. 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 means we fully see Jesus as the Savior of the world. 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 town'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 world's Savior, we need to "Look" at the people as he sees them. "Look – the fields are white unto harvest"! 

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