Tim Keller | February 3, 1991
In this passage, Jesus has a meaningful chat with a Samaritan woman at a well, which inspires her to share her encounter with her townsfolk, leading many of them to believe in Jesus. Jesus then teaches his disciples about the importance of ‘harvesting’ – carrying out God’s work and fulfilling His wishes. He explains that the joy of being a Christian is closely linked to this mission. This lesson emphasizes that a truly satisfying life comes from the process of ‘harvesting’, which is motivated by truth, love, and friendship.
1. Harvesting occurs because of truth
The way Jesus talks with a woman, despite what society thinks, shows the importance of facing our wrongdoings and understanding our need for Christ’s help. Jesus uses the idea of harvesting as a metaphor for evangelism, sharing the life-changing truth that brings happiness and strength. This is similar to how scientists share their findings. If someone criticizes evangelism, they’re essentially denying the existence of religious truth, because if the truth is there, it needs to be shared.
2. Harvesting is needed because of love
This passage challenges the idea that we need to feel superior to share the good news. Instead, we should focus on helping others find their identity in Christ. It shows the powerful impact of meeting Jesus and feeling His love, and how this love motivates us, like it did a missionary who made a sacrifice. The story also shows how people who don’t know Christ can be saved, emphasizing the power of faith and the importance of accepting the goodness and love that religion offers, even when there are tough questions.
3. Harvesting is essentially friendship
Jesus demonstrated the power of the gospel by making friends with a woman who was looked down upon by society. He crossed barriers of gender, race, and reputation to show unconditional love. True friendship, which is the foundation of effective evangelism, means giving others what they need, not trying to make them fit our expectations. As Christians, we’re called to be radicals, living with the joy and mission of sharing the gospel’s life-changing power. This power seeks to change individuals, families, neighborhoods, countries, cultures, and mindsets.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer