Jesus takes the simplest things of life and uses them to teach the deep ways of God.
We, on the other hand are easily focused on keeping it shallow.
What was Jesus’ food? What was more important to him than a missed lunch?
Oh sure, he would eat and drink again but not without picking the fruit that was ripened in their spirits. He used every opportunity to look for spirit ripeness and to gather a harvest.
We can learn much about helping people by observing the Master. There is a spiritual harvest all around us. People who are ripe and ready to be harvested into God’s Kingdom.
Sometimes it is our job to plant seeds of love and goodness in others. Sometimes we see the readiness and need to gather them in.
Sometimes it happens when we are alone with someone. Other times it happens as part of a team effort where several people are involved in sowing and reaping.
Are you part of a team that plant seeds and/or reaps a harvest?
Those who say we have four months before the harvest will be ready miss the point Jesus makes. He says there is a plentiful harvest now. We do not need to delay at recognizing the immediate opportunity.
We are also called to proclamation. That means that we open our mouths and say important things at the right times. We tell others what God has done for us and invite them to follow Jesus.
Are your eyes open to this reality? You can walk past the same field every day and never see the ripening apple tree. Or you can see what God is doing in the lives of others.
What has God been growing in you? Is there a seed of faith that has ripened and ready to be picked? Maybe you see yourself as the woman in the story and have been awestruck by this man Jesus. Something is growing in you and you are ready to belong to Him.
It was a rare occasion when Jesus would reveal His true identity as Messiah. He did not go about proclaiming, “I am the long awaited Messiah. Yield!”
The true worshippers would figure it out with their spirit, not just with their ideas and teachings. Jesus knew that she was ready to find out the real truth about God and so He revealed His true identity.
You can’t come to faith just by reading the Bible and studying. That will hopefully plant seeds of thought and desire in you. There is a spiritual reality of being ready that finally brings you into God’s Kingdom.
Sometimes I found apples that were twice as wide as the ones you buy at the store.
I wasn’t very old, but I knew that the best apples were the latest to fall from the tree. If I grabbed one from the branches, it might still be green and not good for eating. If they were on the ground too long, they started to rot.
You had to know what you were looking for to get a good tasty apple.
A trained eye and a couple bad experiences are usually all it takes to judge an apple ripe for the picking. The same can be said of strawberries, peas, corn and most foods that grow from a seed.
Jesus was always on the lookout for opportunities to gather people into the Kingdom who were ripe for the picking. If nothing much was growing in them, he would deposit a seed into their dirty hearts where it would eventually grow into something delectable.
On one of Jesus’ trips he travelled in
Fortunately God has a palate for all nations and sees people who are ‘ripe for the picking’.
Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well and breaks all propriety when he speaks to her. A seed of religious curiousity and desire had been growing in her. When Jesus reads her mind and reveals her secrets, she changes the conversation to religious questions.
Often when you hit a spiritual nerve in someone, they will raise controversial questions. Worship on this mountain or in
There are people who spend great deals of time formulating opinions about religious matters that leave the rest of us spinning. Religious discussions can be used to divert people away from the matters of the heart. Holding a particular view or position sometimes takes precedent over the truth at hand.
Jesus has a particularly skilful way of demolishing arguments and bringing hidden things to light. He can be trusted to do this.
Jesus rarely gives straight answers to controversial questions. He takes the attention away from the worshippers (both Jewish and Samaritan) and talks about what God is looking for. He is looking for those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
In other words, God is looking for people that have a spiritual connection to Him, not the people who are only concerned about getting everything right. He is looking for people who can leave the past behind.
How about you? Are you trying so hard to get everything right and miss the point that God is looking for you? He has a spiritual connection to you and wants to gather you to Himself. He has spied the apple of His eye and it is you! He’s waiting for you to fall from the history you’ve grown up in. He’s looking for your readiness to be consumed in His Love.