Drifting Away From Jesus

Photo by Andrew Neel: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-shorts-sitting-on-white-boat-7400140/

Please turn with me in your Bibles to John chapter 4.

Last week we saw that Jesus “must needs go through Samaria” (vs 4). Jesus had a divine appointment to share the Gospel with a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. As Jesus shared the Gospel with this woman, we read a parenthetical statement – John 4:8 – which said:

John 4:8 (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat).

What CITY had they gone to? It’s the city of Sychar. Now this Bible is written by God, through Holy Men who love the Lord. There are no coincidences in this Bible. Every word is important. So when it tells us that the disciples were gone away unto the city, we need to look at the city of Sychar. This city is only mentioned one time in the Scripture, in this chapter. The nameSycharhas an interesting meaning. The Greek meaning is “to be drunken – a place of drunkenness”. Jesus is on a mission to save the soul of a woman a a well, but His disciples – Christians – are off doing what they think is more important. They are buying “MEAT.

Are ALL the disciples off somewhere else buying meat? No. The Apostle John, who loves Jesus, is still with the Lord. We know this because John wrote down what happened with the woman at the well.

John stayed with Jesus – but the other disciples thought it was more important to go to Sychar – a place called “Drunken” – and buy “MEAT”.

It is so easy to drift away from God in your faith. The drifting is very subtle. You have important things to do. You want to spend some time with your family. There’s something you want to see on television. You need to go to the store. So you leave Jesus sitting beside a well with a Samaritan woman while you go and do something much more important.

When we follow these patterns – when we are distracted by the less important over the much more important (Jesus) – it isn’t long before we are no better than the lost world around us. If the devil can not keep us in our state of lostness from God, he will do the next best thing for hell – he will entice us to be no better than a lost person.

Illustrate: We often see the behavior of “professing” Christians in public – and are shamed by what they do. I pulled into my bank’s drive through yesterday to purchase a roll of quarters. Pulling in behind a lady who was at the teller’s window, I could hear this woman talking with the teller about opening a charge account with the bank. I thought such things should be done inside. As she asks about the “rewards” program, and the teller dutifully answers her questions, what should have taken me just a minute is running into time. I looked to back up and go around, but I was blocked by others behind me. Trapped, I had to wait. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes pass. She and the teller are still having a leisurely discussion. I practiced praying, because I was tempted to lean on the horn. At 22 minutes she finally pulled away. When I got to the teller, she asked “How’s your day going?” I said, “a whole lot better 15 minutes ago”. As the rude woman pulled away I noticed she had a large CROSS hanging from her rear view mirror. More than likely she professed to be a Christian.

Too many who profess Christianity put the temporal and the silly above what is the most important. Our Lord Jesus traveled the distance between Judea and Sychar (a city of Samaria), some 24.85 miles. We are not told, but He was most likely on foot. This journey would have taken Him several hours, an exhausting trek, and Jesus went because the most important thing in the world to Him was that woman’s soul.

Christians, are the souls of those around you important? Or are you drifting from God, more impressed with MEAT than you are with the Kingdom of God? Let’s look at that word “MEAT”, what was so important to the other Disciples.

Word Study: The word translated MEATin John 4:8 is an interesting Greek word. It is the word trophē (pronounced trof-ay’), and it does mean “meat, food, or nourishment”. The Disciples left Jesus to get nourishment. When they come back we read:

John 4:30-34 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 31 In the mean while his disciples prayed (erōtáō, [pronounced er-o-tah’-o]}, literally BEGGED) Him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

They went to Sychar to get trophē or “nourishment”, and literally beg Jesus to eat. But here Jesus uses a different word for meat. This time He uses the Greek word brōsis, {pronounced bro’-sis}. The word brōsis doesn’t refer to MEAT, but to the act of eating. What Jesus is saying is,

I have eaten food that you have not eaten”

This puzzled the Disciples. We read:

John 4:33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

When they left Jesus at the well, the Lord had not eaten all day. But Jesus says that He is satisfied – that He is nourished. So they wonder if perhaps someone brought Him food. Perhaps John stepped away, or the woman of Samaria fed Jesus something. But Jesus tells them:

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

What sustained Jesus? It was that He followed the will of God the Father. The Father sent the Son on a mission. We are told in:

1 John 4:14 (ESV) … the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus came to save “whosoever will” receive Him as Messiah. Jesus came to be the payment for our sins. Jesus came to invite the lost to follow Him. Jesus was not sent by rabbis. He was not sent by the Sanhedrin, the ruling elders of Israel. Jesus was not sent by Himself. There was no inner hunger or need for power that sent Him. Jesus – Himself God – is sent by God for the most important mission ever devised. He was sent by God to save the lost.

It is God’s Word that brings life. It is God’s Word that sustains life. Jesus told the Devil when he tempted the Lord to “make stones into bread”, that …

Matthew 4:4 … Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The Disciples thought that the food they found was so very important. But Jesus told them …

John 4:34 … My {brōsis FOOD} is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish His work.

God sent Jesus to build the Kingdom of God on this earth. God sent Jesus to grow a Church, a collection of broken people redeemed by the Blood of the lamb. When Jesus preached His only sermon in His home town of Nazareth, He read from the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2:

Luke 4:18-19 (ESV) …“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

When Jesus finished reading this scroll, He said

Luke 4:21 Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.

God the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to proclaim good news to the poor … to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. This was the mission that He came on, a mission He has left for us to do.

Jesus Wants Us To Not Wander Off To Sychar For Food, But To Look For Opportunities
To Spread His Kingdom

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

The devil is very busy sowing seed, spreading misinformation and confusion, and drawing people away from God. The Soniclight Commentary notes:

Jesus’ reference to four months was probably proverbial. That was the approximate time between the last sowing and the earliest harvest reaping. His point was that between the spiritual task of sowing the gospel and reaping belief, the intervening time may be very brief.

The disciples needed spiritual vision. They could obtain it by lifting their eyes and looking on the fields of lost people, which are white for harvest, rather than being completely absorbed in their physical needs. As with physical grain, the opportunity for harvesting spiritually is relatively brief. If left unreached, like unreaped grain, people die in their sins.”

The devil does not pause in his sowing. This is why transgenderism, transhumanism, and the LGBTQ+ movement has taken such hold. Those who follow Christ need to stay with Christ, to stay true to Him. If we drift away, and start to put other things above the Father’s calling, then Satan will triumph in America.

John 4:36-38 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors.

The conversion of Samaria was thousands of years in the making. The prophets sowed the seed f the Gospel in the Old Testament era. In sowing and reaping, there is often a long period of time between the two. There are crops I love to grow that take months to sprout, so I often sow in trays, and use heat lamps to try and coax the seed out of the soil. Hopefully I will have a sprout I can transplant, and get an early harvest.

But human souls are different. With human souls, One soweth, and another reapeth. We plant the seed of the Gospel, but we may never see the fruit bear. But every one of us must be as faithful as we can be to stay with Jesus, and keep doing what He has called us to do. The Bible tells us in another place:

2 Corinthians 9:6 … He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

What others have sowed, you can reap. What you sow, you can sometimes reap. If you sow much, you can reap much. But if you sow nothing, you reap nothing. The Apostle wrote:

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

You ask the question, “What harm am I doing if I do nothing for my Lord?” The answer is simple. If you are not sowing, nor serving, Satan is. And there will be a harvest! There will be a harvest!

Who Can Tell What One Seed Will Do?

The Disciples saw Sychar as a SUPPLY depot for their needs, and a SAMARITAN problem without a solution. God saw Sychar as a valuable area. Jesus took the time to sow ONE SEED at a well. What happened? We read:

John 4:39-42 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

The ONE SEED that Jesus planted at Jacob’s well sprouted, and went out sowing throughout Sychar or “the drunken place. Many Samaritans came to receive Jesus as Messiah, and besought Him that He would tarry with them. They wanted to walk with and talk with Jesus. They were able to profess, this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

My question to each and every one of you is, what are YOU sowing? Are you as professing Christians living your lives to glorify God your Savior? Or are you only following Jesus when it is convenient? God expects those whom He has saved to live in love with Jesus. The work of God is to believe on Jesus. To share Jesus with others. To share the great love of God with this present world. What filled Jesus’ so that He was not hungry was doing the will of God. He said:

John 6:38-40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

We desperately need Christians walking WITH Christ, not apart from Him, in America today. John Stonestreet noted in a recent Breakpoint article:

In his book, The Way Of The Modern World, author and theologian Craig Gay wrote … The most common thing we encounter (in America today) is ‘practical atheism’. In other words, what shapes our world is not so much a proliferation of people who believe that God does not exist; rather, it is that so many people live as if God does not exist, as if God is irrelevant to most of life.”

We as Christians cannot afford to be “practical atheists”. We must live as if Christ matters to us and to those around us. We must walk through our lives following Jesus. We cannot afford to be off to Sychar, looking to feed our own bellies. Oh, that God would set our souls on fire, to share Christ and His love as we are given opportunity to do so! May God the Holy Spirit and this precious Scripture move on all our hearts, and bring us back to Him, our Hope and our Lord, this very day. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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