John 4:27-42 Go Reap

27 Just then his disciples came back. They marvelled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 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. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.”

39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”

Go Reap

Jesus’ disciples come to find him reaping a harvest among the Samaritans.  This was unexpected, but he tells them that a harvest is to be reaped.  God himself has prepared the people in many ways so that they are ready for Jesus.  It was unlikely that Jewish evangelists had effectively prepared the Samaritans to become converts to Jesus as the Messiah.  This open attitude to Jesus and his message may have been by word-of-mouth because people had heard what he was doing in the neighbouring regions.  It may have been that God, through the Spirit, was preparing the people in supernatural ways.  In either case, the principle is that God goes before the evangelist preparing the hearts of people so that they are predisposed to the good news of Jesus.

Today we are sometimes afraid to speak about God to people we do not know well.  Sometimes we are afraid to talk about God to people who we do know well because we assume their attitude is fixed.  God prepares people to hear the news of Jesus’ message.  We do not know how he challenges people, we just know that he does.  When we come with an open attitude to discussing Jesus and a passionate attitude to sharing our faith we are coming in after God has worked in people’s lives.  There is often a harvest that leaves us awe struck.  I have personally experienced this on plane flights, in bus stations, and in coffee shops.  It just takes a focus on God rather than ourselves and then God reaps a harvest through us.


God, we are often so focused on ourselves and our inadequacies.  I pray that you would help us to reach out and share what we have received and expect a harvest.  Maybe we are to plant a seed that others will reap, but help us not to hold back when we should speak.


  1. Who is converted in this passage?
  2. What is the attitude of the disciples?
  3. What information brackets Jesus teaching in this section and why?
  4. Is there a harvest to be had among the Muslims?  What is your attitude?
  5. How freely do you talk about your faith with others?  How can open communication about Jesus be naturally maintained?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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19 Responses to John 4:27-42 Go Reap

  1. Lacy says:

    1. Many Samaritans were converted.
    2. The disciples were surprised to see Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman.
    3. The conversion of the Samaritans begins and ends this section, proving Jesus’ point that “the fields are ripe for the harvest.”
    4. There is certainly a harvest to be had among the Muslims– there is among every people group, I think. I think I am personally a little intimidated by Muslims, because, having been raised in a church that was legalistic to a damaging degree, I tend to shy away from people who lead a more traditional, ritualistic lifestyle.
    5. I’m better than I once was about talking about my faith, but it still doesn’t come naturally. I think it helps open communication to live a lifestyle that follows Chriat (and is therefore different from most of the world), and to give an honest answer when people ask you about it.

  2. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) The Samaritan woman was converted along with many other people who heard her testimony about Jesus.
    2) They seemed surprised to find Jesus witnessing to the Samaritans, but they did not confront or question Him.
    3) Many Samaritan’s were converted because of Jesus’ teaching.
    4) I absolutely believe there is a harvest among the Muslims! In many ways, like the Jews and the Samaritans, we may have stereotypes and prejudices towards Muslims, but Jesus has shown us that thinking like that is wrong. We are to love and show compassion to them. The living water is to be offered to them as well!
    5) I know I do not speak as freely about my faith with others as I should. Often conversations about my faith happen with people that I have developed a relationship with, so it seems more natural. I still struggle with sharing my faith with those I do not know well. I believe that natural, open communication can come from living a godly life and then people noticing and asking questions.

  3. Jenna says:

    1. The Samaritan woman and her entire village believe in Jesus.
    2. They were surprised that Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman.
    3. Jesus’ teaching on the harvest is bracketed by the woman’s belief in Jesus and the Samaritans’ belief in Jesus – proving His point!
    4. Yes – God can save people from every background, though many of them seem especially hard and hostile to the gospel.
    5. I talk more freely about my faith with believers than I do with non-believers, and I definitely know more believers than non-believers. I think that listening to God’s prompting and looking for opportunities for the gospel helps to make talking about your faith less awkward.

  4. Karas says:

    Many Samaritans are converted. The disciples and perplexed and they don’t seem to understand. I’m not sure what information is bracketed the teaching except that Jesus went through Samaria and the topic of food and harvesting. I could see the harvesting being evidence that Jesus has come to reap. I think there is definitely a harvest to be had among Muslims. I think there’s one among all people. I feel very open to talking about my faith as long as the other person is open. I just don’t want to come off as too strong and obnoxious. I think having a relationship and building trust allows open communication about Jesus.

  5. Mary says:

    1. The Samaritan woman, which she then went and told many other Samaritans in her town and they also believed, who then in turn asked Jesus to stay and talk with them two days, and many more believed.
    2. The disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman.
    3. The sharing of the gospel with others, which resulted in the reaping of a harvest.
    4. Of course. They believe there is a God; their faith is just misplaced in the wrong god. We are all broken and in need of a savior. There is no reason we shouldn’t try to share Jesus with them. As a people/religious group, I admire their faithfulness when it is heartfelt and not just out of obligation or association with Islam, and think we can learn a lot from them. One thing I admire most is their attitude of respect and reverence that I would like to emulate more regularly. Sometimes I think I can get to comfortable or casual with God.
    5. The level of depth that I go into is a challenge with strangers. I like to build relationships with people and let Christ shine through me first before I ask them questions about their beliefs. I talk often with people on the train or bus about things I a doing in church or at school, which has led to several opportunities to share with them what I believe or ask them questions about what they believe, but I find it difficult to share unless they ask me. On the other hand, once I have built a relationship with someone and they know that I genuinely care about them, I am less afraid to share with them because I know that it won’t come off as I am just trying to “convert them”, but that Jesus really is the answer to our brokenness and he loves them and wants to know them and for them to know him.

  6. Nick says:

    In this passage the Samaritan woman that Jesus was talking to was converted, as well as the people of her town that she went and told about Jesus. The disciples were surprised and confused when they found Jesus talking to the woman. The information that brackets this passage is that Samaritans were converted and believed in Jesus, beginning with the conversion of the woman that Jesus talked to and ending with the conversion of that woman’s village based on her testimony about Jesus. I think that there is a harvest to reap among all people groups, including the Muslims. Throughout my life I have had a hard time being able to share my faith, for fear of rejection or the embarrassment of potentially not having an answer to certain questions. I find it hard even to share my faith with my friends who proclaim to be Christians, but live a non-Christian lifestyle. If I try and share my faith with them and they take it wrongly or don’t respond well, I am often discouraged from trying again another time.

  7. Janice Lee says:

    1. The woman and many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus.
    2. The disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking to the woman.
    3. Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritans brackets His teaching. The Samaritans’ belief in Jesus support Jesus’ teaching that the fields are ripe for the harvest.
    4. Yes, there is a harvest among the Muslims. Our almighty God is working in their hearts, and He calls us to boldly share the gospel with all people. Perhaps, the best way to reap a harvest among the Muslims is to invest in edifying relationships with them, genuinely valuing who God created them to be.
    5. I freely talk about my faith with others. Open communication about Jesus can be naturally maintained by respecting the other person and seeking to understand his or her beliefs.

  8. Dominic Shortridge says:

    1. the Samaritans are Converted
    2. The Disciples were concerned for his physical health and urged him to eat.
    3. Jesus explains that the work of others has made the harvest ripe, and this is a joyful when the sower and the reaper can work together.
    4. YESSS. Muslims like any other non-Christ follower has a desire in their heart to be in union with God. Muslim people cannot be characterized as a whole in generalities or in stereotypes. There are Muslims out there who are longing for communion with The God Man, and salvation through him.
    5. I speak frequently with others about my faith. I always try to maintain high respect with people so that way the know that I am a person of high character and integrity. If Jesus is the whole of your life and you acknowledge that to yourself and others, then it is inevitable that people will ask you about Jesus.

  9. Rachel says:

    The woman Jesus had been speaking with was converted, along with many others she brought along. Meanwhile, Jesus’ disciples are not supporting his ministry, instead, they are worrying about Jesus’ basic needs. Jesus teaches his disciples, explaining that a harvest of souls is ripe and ready and much more worth reaping than grain. Today, as through the years, there is a harvest to be had among the Muslims, although many shy away due to fear. My attitude tends to be one of fear as well. I seek to develop deep relationships with others before “slamming” them with the gospel. Often, though, I don’t end up sharing my faith even with unbelievers I am close with. If I trusted Christ to be in control of the situation instead of acting out of fear, I believe he could use my relationships and my words for his glory!

  10. Beth Coale says:

    1. The socially outcast women and many Samaritans

    2. They did not expect this. It did not fit into their agenda of that day. Their apathetic and negative response reminds me a bit of Jonah.

    3. People may seem to not want to hear & may try to change the topic/ deflect the conversation at first, but people really are “thirsty” and the fields really are ripe if we are patient with people & meet them where they are.

    4. Yes! I just heard from someone who has been living in a Muslim area, and she is having those types of conversations that leave you awe struck. Reading “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools” (set partially in the middle east, specifically Afghanistan) was part of what made me really determined to get into education and start to be really interested in that area. In high school, I had a good friend from Azerbaijan so that made me want to seek out possibilities of going there. Now I go to an international church & sometimes lead English groups… it’s mostly students from East Asia but I hope to meet some more students from the Middle East as well there and other places. Also, “In the Land of Blue Burqas” is one of my favorite books & I really recommend it!

    5. I used to a lot, but then I got disappointed a lot. Or, I felt like I failed afterward so many times, and that was an awful feeling. Yes, these are excuses, but they are probably why I speak boldly less now and I need to work on that. I think natural and open communication is exactly the way to go about talking about Christ.

  11. How freely do you talk about your faith with others? How can open communication about Jesus be naturally maintained?
    “I do not take many opportunities to share my faith with unbelievers since close to all the settings I find myself in during the week are in Christian settings (class, dorm, Solheim, SDR, Commons). Recently, I have been volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a public highschool so I have been finding opportunities to challenge the student’s to wrestle with what their teachers are teaching them about faith, reason, politics, family, work, etc. Open communication with them takes shrewdness, since I am in a setting where there are very few believers and the teachers teach beyond the curriculum to instruct their students with what seems to be their own (very secular) worldview. Hopefully, with patience and consistency, I will be more faithful to be open about my relationship with Jesus and His way of life.”

  12. Amy McCashen says:

    1. The Samaritan woman and many other Samaritans.
    2. The disciples are surprised to see Jesus talking with the woman, but they do not say anything.
    3. The woman asks, “Can this be the Christ?” at the beginning. At the end, the people declare that they found the Christ.
    4. YES! Muslims are just the same as all other non-believers- they lack Christ. God can move in the heart of whomever he pleases. We need to be constantly praying for the Muslim community.
    5. Not as freely as I would like to. I think conversation about Jesus can come up naturally through my education. I attend Moody Bible Institute. People ask me all the time what college I attend and it is a great conversation starter.

  13. Kathleen says:

    1. The Samaritan woman and many other Samaritans.
    2. The disciples were surprised to see Him talking to her.
    3. The woman believed and other Samaritans believed because of her testimony. This shows there was a harvest.
    4. Yes I believe there is a harvest among the Muslims. I believe they are in need of the Father and His love. I was able to talk to a girl on the megabus on my way home once. And she definitely was in need of a savior.
    5. I do not share my faith as much as I used to. Since coming to Moody the amount of non-believers I interact with has decreased. This is a sad realization for me. When I was in high school, I interacted with non-believers everyday. I shared my faith verbally and through my actions. I need to branch out and be intentional about seeking out non-believers to talk with and build relationships.

  14. nataliaria says:

    In this passage, the testimony of the woman leads many of her fellow Samaritans to come to Christ. While the disciples find it quite remarkable that Jesus is conversing with the woman, they do not explicitly try to dissuade Him from doing so.

    Jesus’ teaching of the disciples in this passage is bracketed between verses talking about the wonderful conversion of many Samaritans. I believe that this was intended to provide the practical outworking of the harvest that Jesus is talking about.

    I believe that there is a harvest among the Muslims.

    I believe that I talk about my faith fairly freely and frequently with others, but it is not necessarily in the context of explicit sharing of my faith. Rather, I find that it often comes up naturally when I talk about things like summer plans (working with missionaries in Guatemala), my education (homeschooled and then Moody Bible Institute), my family (adoption and foster care involvement, providing relief to hurting families), and what I believe is important. These topics, when approached with a heart open to God’s wisdom and guidance, can all be used to share His love and grace.

  15. Dylan says:

    1. In this passage, many Samaritans are converted.
    2. The disciples are surprised Jesus is talking with a woman in the beginning of the chapter. Later, they are so stuck in their Earthly ways they can hardly make out Jesus’ metaphors, insisting he needs to eat something. I can’t Ay is be any better though.
    3. Water, food and community. These are 3 potential symbols in the passage pointing to what Jesus can offer us. He offers everlasting life, the call to evangelism and the blessing of support from other believers. Close?
    4. I do believe there is a harvest to be had among Muslims, since there has already been many converts from Islam to Christianity.
    5. I dont talk about Jesus as much as I’d like but it’s been on my mind more latel and that’s kind if encouraging in a way. I think I will witness to a friend I haven’t before very soon.

  16. Ashley says:

    1. The Samaritan woman was converted.
    2. The disciples are concerned with physical needs such as eating.
    3. Jesus takes this opportunity to speak about spiritual food, of which the disciples do not know…
    4. Yes, there is most definitely harvest to be done among Muslims, as there is opportunity among any group of people. I want Muslims to see that Jesus alone is God! The Lord has consistently placed Muslim’s in my life. Growing up, one my closest friends came from a Muslim family. She chose to give her life to Jesus about 7 years ago! She has struggled in her faith a lot since then, but I believe that the Lord is still drawing her to himself. Right now, God has brought an old co-worker back into my life who is Muslim. My sophomore year, we often met and she asked me a lot of questions about Christianity. Just last week, we ran into each other and are planning to meet this week. I am thankful for these dear people that God has placed in my life.
    5. Jesus comes up a lot in my conversations. When I was growing up in Berlin, people knew I was a Christian right away. They would ask me why my family moved to Germany and I would be able to tell them that we moved here to tell people about Jesus. That question would give me an open door to share the gospel later on. Now, people find out I’m a Christian because I tell them I go to Moody Bible Institute. Once people find these things out about me, they begin to watch how I live and wonder why I do the things I do. I am so thankful that the Spirit gives me the words to say in these situations!

  17. Bethany says:

    1. The Samaritan woman and her village are converted
    2. They were hesitant and surprised that Jesus would talk to the Samaritan woman
    3. This proves Jesus’ point that the fields are ready for harvest
    4. Of course. God can use anyone
    5. I talk freely about Jesus with people I do not know, but it is hard for me to talk about Jesus with my family or close unbelieving friends. I need to get over this and concentrate more on my love for these people and what they need.

  18. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. Who is converted in this passage?
    The Samaritan woman along with many other Samaritans from the village.
    2. What is the attitude of the disciples?
    They are shocked to see Jesus speaking with a women and seem to be concerned about Jesus’ lack of food.
    3. What information brackets Jesus teaching in this section and why?
    At the beginning of this section the woman believes that Jesus is the Messiah and at the end many more from the town believe. Also, at the beginning of this section, the marveled that Jesus was talking to a woman. At the end they believe her words because they have seen Jesus.
    4. Is there a harvest to be had among the Muslims? What is your attitude?
    Yes! In fact, my husband and I hope to one day work among Muslims. As they are growing at such a rapid rate, as Christians we must engage with them and bring the truth of Jesus Christ to them.
    5. How freely do you talk about your faith with others? How can open communication about Jesus be naturally maintained?
    This is so incredibly hard to maintain with non-Christians. It is such an odd topic to bring up with them I feel like. Most non-Christians I have met do not want to talk about Jesus, and if they are going to, it’s not going to be pretty. With Christians, it is something I want to get better at. We are good at discussing theology, but I want the Christian community to be more comfortable just sharing how good God has been to them and how worthy of praise our God is.

  19. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1) the Women and the many who also heard of Jesus
    2) surprise and wonder
    3) people were saved and converted to follow him, proving that he was the Christ
    4)Of course there is, Muslims are no different then any other unsaved person, I know there is and can be much to fear with them, however God wants every soul.
    5) I talk about it very freely when I feel like it needs to be spoken about, or when I feel led to speak about it, I don’t want to dump on people, I want the Lord to use me and give me the words to say; his words. I think it is pretty much impossible for God to not come up in a serious conversation, especially when you are getting to know people and ask about who they are.

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