Little Things (7)
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. John 4.28-30
Seed to harvest
It was the heat of the day. People were at work. Tending their gardens. Putting infants down for a nap. Haggling in the marketplace or swapping stories and gossip in the town square. That is, they were busily pursuing their normal routines, not expecting that this day would be different from all the others of their routine existence.
But on this day, that Samaritan village would be changed forever.
It all began with the cries of a woman everyone knew, but with whom only a few ever associated. A woman, whose reputation led her to shun polite company, suddenly burst into their midst with what must have been an arresting look on her face. Were those tears of joy? Was that a smile of relief? Hope? Deliverance?
As she made her way into the town square, people could not help but wonder what had happened, what was going on. Why was this disgraced woman, who avoided the looks and gossip of her neighbors, now here in their midst, excitedly and even joyfully declaring, “Come, see a Man who told me all things I ever did!”
Doubtless many of the men of that village thought to themselves, “I could tell you that.” But there was something in her demeanor, something in the urgency of her voice, and in the way she kept going from one man to the next with the same animated invitation (John’s use of the Greek language here indicates repeated utterances) – something about all this stirred the men of the village, and they began streaming out after her toward the ancient well where Jesus sat.
She had only sowed a little seed: Come. See. Can it be? But from that little seed, a great harvest would be reaped (vv. 39-43).
This woman’s mustard seed can serve as an outline for us, as we enter our own Personal Mission Fields, transformed and sent by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s note three things about this woman’s report. First, it began with a credible invitation. This woman was evidently a different person from the one the men of this village were used to seeing skulking around, shame-faced, and avoiding their gazes. Something had happened. Something had changed – something inviting, appealing, and infectious.
Jesus has called us to be His witnesses (Acts 1.8). When we are people in whom Jesus is manifestly alive and present, our invitations to consider Him will be much more potent. Peter explained that the hope we have – the hope of knowing God in His glory and living for His glory in the moments and details of our lives – can be so visible and arresting, that people will want to know more about it (1 Pet. 3.15). As we invite the people in our Personal Mission Field to hearabout Jesus, reador learnabout Jesus, or join usto worship Jesus, they will be more likely to “come and see” if what they seein us suggests something they might like to see in themselves as well.
How real is Jesus to you? How present is Jesus with you in all the little moments and details of your life? Do you meet Him in His glory such that His glory radiates from you in all the little things of your life? And are you ready to invite others to consider Him Who is the source of such hope?
Seed-sowing begins in an invitation – an inviting life followed by an inviting word.
Second, the woman offered two foci for her invitation: Come see a Man. Come see a Man Who did something for me.
This is good counsel. If we want others to consider Jesus, we shall have to explain why. What has Jesus done for you that might make someone want to come and see Him for themselves?
Prayer is the place for recounting the blessings of Jesus and being renewed in them daily. Consider how many of the psalms tally up the Lord’s blessings with gusto and joy. Read Psalm 18, 40, 65, 103, or 104 and let the Spirit lead you to meditate on all the ways God our Father and Jesus our King fill your life with bounty, beauty, and blessing day by day. Learn to delight in every little blessing, and you will always have some mustard seed to invite others to consider.
But we must not be content with having them consider our lives. We want them to see Jesus. Tell what Jesus has done for you, and tell Who Jesus is and what He has done for the life of the world. Be ready with the Gospel of the Kingdom in all its rich tapestry and texture. Explain how the Word of God became flesh and dwelled among us, how He taught and loved, suffered and died and rose again, and that now He offers the gift of forgiveness and abundant life to all who will believe.
Can it be?
Finally, set your seed firmly into the soil of your friend’s soul by asking a pointed question: Can this be the Messiah? Can He Who has done so much for me do the same and more for you? Is not He Whom multitudes in every age and from every culture and walk of life have believed and served, Who brings fullness of joy, holy pleasures, and lasting purpose to life – is not He the One you’re looking for to satisfy the deep longings of your life?
Questions beg answers. Those Samaritan men rushed out of that village to answer the woman’s question for themselves, and many of your friends will do the same – agreeing to read a gospel with you, to meet and talk further about Jesus, or even join you for church and dinner following. You may not reap them as a harvest for the Lord, but the seed you sow might one day come to fruition at the witness of another.
Mustard seeds are little, but they have a definite shape. Let yours take the shape of Come. See. Can it be? and you may be surprised to see how Jesus might use your faith to draw others to Himself.
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown and you can win it;
If you go in Jesus’ Name.
1. What is the Gospel? That is, if you had an opportunity to share the Gospel with a friend, what would you say?
2. What has Jesus done for you? How has He changed your life? What have you gained of His full and abundant life that someone else might also enjoy?
3. What’s a question you might use with someone in your Personal Mission Field to initiate a conversation about Jesus?
Next steps – Transformation: OK, so you haven’t done this sort of thing much before. Today’s a good day to make the most of your time and sow a little Kingdom seed. Focus on the people you’ll be with today. Pray for each by name, and ask the Lord to open a door of opportunity for you to initiate a conversation about Jesus.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Kittie L. Suffield, “Little is Much”