We left off with the woman at the well charging off into the city to tell them about Christ. I want to bring one thing up before we move on. Christ revealed himself to this woman and it was a woman that brings the town to him. We also see that after the the crucifixion it was the two Marys that waited by the tomb that brought the news to the world. We could do several studies on this topic alone so I only want to remind you in passing that both these women are symbols of Israel and it is Israel that reveals Christ to this world.
That said here we are with the woman running off to tell the town and Christ is alone with his disciples.
John 4:31: In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. (32): But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Remember earlier in the chapter he brought up the living water and now he is moving onto meat.
John 4:33: Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
And the disciples aren’t any different than the woman because they are thinking flesh.
John 4:34: Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (35): Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:36: And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (37): And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. (38): I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
I have read and listened to a lot of preachers cover this and say that the world was ready for Christ. This town, as we will see in the next segment, is certainly ready to accept Christ so this statement is true. And it is true that the disciples who didn’t tell this town about the coming messiah is going to reap the benefits of another’s work, but there is more to it.
On the absolute deepest level this is pointing to predestination and even giving some hints as to the timing of the tribulation, but let’s not take it that far at this time. Right now I want to to note the three things Christ has given us, a four month early crop, a white harvest and the field.
Let’s start with the field. We know from the parable of the sower that the field is the world and I think we can all agree that the symbolism carries over. The four months early also points to the earth since four in biblical numerics is earth. So what about this white harvest and what does it mean exactly that it is ready early?
At this time there were basically three harvests, spring (barley and wheat), summer (grapes) and fall (olives). Olives and grapes do not turn white when they are ready to harvest so were are talking about one of the spring harvests. The wheat always comes after the barley. Barley being symbolic of the firstfruits or election makes it safe to say that if a crop is early it’s going to be barley. Taking it a step further Christ is talking about finishing his work. The work he finished for his first dispensation was dying on the cross, which points to Passover. Remember Christ became our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7) and barley was the grain used during Passover.
Knowing that barley is harvested at or around Passover, late March to early April we can say that this took place late November to early December.
So putting that all together what is Christ teaching us here? The people in this town is going to accept Christ at his word. That is faith and by their faith they are justified, made white. Remember Christ is on his way to Galilee and we are going to see there that they are quite different. They are going to need a sign and what sign do they get?
Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
So when we cover that I want you to remember this picture that Christ has given us.