The Fields Are White for Harvest

Text: John 4:35-42

The first half of this chapter is devoted to Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. After this, Jesus told His disciples that the fields were “white for harvest.” These two discussions are connected – the first discussion led to the great harvest Jesus talked about. Let us notice some lessons for us from this passage.

The Harvest May Be Greater Than We Expect

  • Jesus said, “lift up your eyes and look” (v. 35) – implied that they might not notice otherwise
  • We cannot predict how successful our efforts will be (Luke 8:5-8; 1 Corinthians 3:6)
  • Why this harvest may have been unexpected – Jesus spoke to just one person (yet even reaching just one person may cause others to hear and obey the gospel); Jesus spoke to a woman (this is not about gender, but influence; she would not have been one the disciples would have expected to be influential in that day and age); these people were Samaritans (often looked down upon by the Jews, yet welcomed by the Lord)

We Are Gathering Fruit for Eternal Life

  • Our efforts in this harvest are for a spiritual benefit (v. 36)
  • A physical harvest is necessary for physical life – this spiritual harvest is necessary for spiritual/eternal life
  • We must lead people to Christ if we want for them to be saved – He is the Messiah (v. 25-26), the one who takes away sin (John 1:29); He has the words of eternal life (John 6:68); He is the way (John 14:6)

Those Who Sow and Reap Are Working Together

  • Both work and rejoice together (v. 36-38) – Paul and Apollos worked toward a common goal (1 Corinthians 3:6); in this case, the woman sowed the seed and the people of the city would believe Jesus’ words (v. 41-42)
  • We are not in competition with one another – lead people to Christ, not to ourselves (2 Corinthians 4:5)
  • We may teach someone, but others may convert them (1 Corinthians 1:14-17; Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:6) – this is OK; we must simply make the most of our opportunities (1 Corinthians 3:5)

We Must Use the Word to Sow and Reap

  • Many believed the woman when she told them what Jesus said to her (v. 39) – many more believed when they heard the words of Jesus for themselves (v. 41-42)
  • People use many things to try and draw people to Christ – our goal is not merely numbers (1 Corinthians 1:17)
  • Preach the word because it is what leads people to salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16; John 6:68)

People Must Hear for Themselves

  • The Samaritans heard for themselves and believed in Jesus (v. 42)
  • Our faith must not be in man and what man says – we must know the truth for ourselves (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)


  • Jesus told His disciples that the fields were white for harvest
  • We are not omniscient like Jesus to know what will happen – but there are people out there who will be receptive to the truth
  • We must make the most of our opportunities to lead people to Christ

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