Jesus Rebukes His Disciples: Wake Up!

There are many amazing moments in the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well but one of the most convicting moments may be after the woman leaves. Jesus entered into a conversation with this woman when she came to the well to draw water. He was alone because his disciples had gone in to town to buy some food. When the disciples returned, Jesus was in a fully engaged conversation with her and the bible says his disciples were shocked to see him talking with her. The main shock wasn’t just he was alone with a woman which wasn’t always culturally appropriate but that the woman was a Samaritan, a people despised by the Jews.

“What could he possibly have to say to her?” they might have been thinking. ‘A religious leader of Jesus’ stature should not lower himself or defile himself by talking to an unclean Samaritan.”

Where Jesus was concerned about the condition of the woman’s heart, the disciples were concerned about the reputation of Jesus. (Or maybe they were concerned about their own reputation).

But Jesus used this moment to remind them of the mission fo Christ. That Samaritan women was one of the reasons Jesus came into this world. He came so that this woman who was spiritually thirsty could find eternal satisaction in Him. And she wasn’t the only one who needed salvation, there was a harvest of people just waiting to receive the Gospel.

And so he turned to the disciples still struggling to understand why Jesus would give that woman his attention and He said to them, “wake up!”

When we tell people to wake up we are telling them they are not currently operating in reality. You are deaming, you are alseep. You are not viewing this situation for what it really is. The disciples could not see this woman as one who needed to know the Good News of Jesus Christ. They could only see her through the lens of being a Jew: she was a lowly Samaritan. She was born to the wrong people group. She did not deserve their compassion.

And Jesus tells them, “wake up!” Other translations say “Lift up your eyes” meaning look beyond you. Get your eyes off yourself and recognize that there are people in spiritual need all around us. And God is desiring to use us to let them know that there is hope in this world beyond their own circumstances.

This woman and every other soul who does not having a relationship with the living God is the reason why Jesus has come. In the previous chapter (John 3), Jesus tells Nicodemus that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love was not restricted to the Jews. It was for the entire world. And salvation was not just for the Jews, it was for “whoever believes.”

And so Jesus tells his disciples in John 4:35, “…wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.” The harvest are those who are ready to hear the Gospel. This was a woman ready to recieve the Good News that the Messiah has come and offers salvation.

The issue isn’t our cultural walls of should we be talking to them or associating with them. The issue is for the thirsty souls of men and women and children. We need to wake up because we have lost the mission of Christ. We need to wake up because we have made Christianity an inward pursuit. We need to wake up and lay down our own pride and selfishness. The harvest is ready, Jesus tells us.

May the rebuke to the disciples be the challenge to our own life: my we wake up and see those around us that God places into our life opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel.

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