August 15th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
What brings you joy? What activities cause you to feel deeply fulfilled and intensely engaged? In John 4, we find Jesus “wearied” from a long journey that was filled with hard work. He is “sitting” beside a well in the heat of the day. He asks a Samaritan woman to give him a drink. (4:7) This scene seems to describe a man who is depleted and in need of refreshment (both physically and, we can imagine, emotionally). It is not surprising, then, to learn that his disciples “had gone away into the city to buy food.” (4:8) What is surprising is the condition in which the disciples find Jesus upon their return. “The disciples were urging him… “Rabbi eat.” (4:31) Jesus replied, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (4:32) The disciples are confused. It doesn’t add up. How could Jesus be reinvigorated when, circumstantially, nothing had changed? The day was still hot. Jesus had gotten no sleep nor eaten any food. And yet, they found him refreshed. The disciples wonder “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” (4:33) Jesus said to them “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (4:34) While the disciples were in the city, Jesus ministered to the Samaritan woman whom he’d asked for a drink. As Jesus did the will of God and accomplished the work of God, he found his own body and soul refreshed. It seems, for Jesus, that spiritual ministry, sacrificial service, and self-denying love resulted in joy, deep fulfillment, and intense engagement. Jesus concluded this conversation with an invitation to his disciples “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (4:35) Jesus extends that same invitation to you and to me. In fact, this is the very work for which God made us and saved us. When we minister to the spiritual needs of others, we will find our souls and bodies nourished on the “food” about which Jesus spoke in John 4.
To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Paul’s description of his own labor and joy in ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2. Our hymns include “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” and “In Christ Alone.”
Text: 3 John 4
Title: Why Make Disciples?
- God made us for it
- God saved us for it
- It works