“Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”” (John 4:31–38, ESV)
The disciples know that Jesus is weary, and so they urge him to eat something to gain strength. Jesus tells them that he has food to eat and takes this opportunity to teach them about something they do not yet understand. The disciples misunderstand and can only think of natural food which was the same difficulty the Samaritan woman struggled to understand. The disciples questioned where this food that Jesus possessed came from and wondered if someone else has brought him something to eat. Jesus teaches the disciples that man cannot live by bread alone and that it is obedience to God that sustains life. Jesus reminds them that they can decipher harvest cycles, and so they should appreciate that in terms of redemption history the harvest has already commenced, and Jesus, as well as the disciples, have the privilege of enjoying it with Jesus. The sower knows what is to come, and the reapers must remember that the harvest is the result of another's work. The disciples enjoy reaping but must be mindful of the work of those who have come before them.
The word gives life and obedience sustains it. We must never forget that earthly pursuits must be viewed through a kingdom lens. We belong to King Jesus, and he has commissioned us to make disciples. It can be a challenge as we face daily difficulties to be mindful of the commission of our identity. We are guilty just as the disciples and the Samaritan woman are about seeing things in only earthly terms. We are a family of missionary servants sent to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We enter into the work of Jesus and those who have gone before us. Look around you. God has placed you here for more than earthly pursuits. We are on mission, and the fields are white for harvest. Proclaim the excellencies of him who has called you into his glorious light.