Convinced

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.  Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.  I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” – John 4:31-35

Most of us are familiar with this statement of Jesus. As with all Scripture, it is vital that we consider the context of the passage, in order to understand the holistic picture of what is taking place.

In this instance, Jesus had just finished an amazing conversation with the Woman at the well. There are several things that are astonishing about this event, which merit time in personal study, not the least of which being that this woman was not a Jew, but a Samaritan.

During the time of Christ, most Jews traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem would travel the lengthy distance through Paraea, in order to avoid contact with the country and citizens of Samaria, rather than the much shorter route, directly between the two points. This was particularly true of any Pharisee or religious leader in the Jewish community.

This alone made Jesus’ presence in Samaria unusual, much less his encounter with a Samaritan woman.

None of this was lost on the disciples, who were busy buying food in the city, no doubt eager to move along. When they returned and pressed Jesus to eat, He took the opportunity to have a teachable moment with them, which is what we learn from this passage.

What ensued was the two days of Samaritans placing their faith in Christ, as the woman at the well told everyone she saw what He had done for her.

It is just like Jesus to work in places and among people that we least expect.

Iran is one of those places for many of us, who do not know what the Lord is doing there right now. According to the independent research of Operation World, Iran is home to the fastest growing Evangelical population in the world today.[1] This is not because a handful of people are coming to Christ, which impacts an already tiny base. There are conservative estimates that at least 1 million people in Iran have placed their faith in Christ, most of whom have done so in the last 10 years and at the current rate, the population is doubling every 4 years.

In fact, more Iranians have come to Christ since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, than in the 1,400 years prior to the revolution…combined![2]

Consider the story of Sadegh, who called our 24/7 counseling center from a small city inside of Iran after viewing one of our Farsi programs on our Satellite TV channel.

Sadegh called and was very anxious to know how to become a follower of Jesus. He did not need to have questions answered about Islam vs. Christianity, or the Qur’an vs. the Bible. He was already convinced that Islam was not the way and he simply knew that he needed Jesus.

The counselor led him in prayer and Sadegh gave his life to Christ.

Since that time, our counselors have continued to follow up with Sadegh. He has been completely transformed by Christ and no longer takes medicine for issues he suffered related to depression.

As a reminder, this was a Muslim man, living inside of Iran. Perhaps one of the most “unlikely” places we can imagine the Lord setting up shop. However, He is at work there unlike any other time in history, unlike any other place in the world!

Join us in praying for the millions of Sadeghs, who are broken and hopeless without Christ. Pray that the Lord will meet them right where they are, at their own personal “wells” and give them the hope that only He can give.

 

[1] Mandryk, Jason, and Molly Wall. Pray for the World: Abridged from Operation World, 7th Edition, by Jason Mandryk ; Advising Editor: Molly Wall ; Foreword by Patrick Johnstone. 294.

[2] Iran – Country Profile. (2013, September 1). Retrieved July 23, 2015, from http://www.om.org/en/country-profile/iran