Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” …
… 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 talked among themselves, “Could someone have brought him food?” (John 4)
Yesterday, I spent some time thinking about the Samaritan woman in this story. But even as I was reading, I couldn’t help but notice the disciples reaction when they came back with food for Jesus and saw him talking with her.
As Jews, talking with Samaritans was a “no – no” anyway, and a Jewish man talking with a woman in public… as an equal?? That was something you just did. not. do.
So here they are, his disciples, his students, and instead of asking him about this unheard-of-ness, they talk to each other? And then, as they meanwhile away their unanswered questions, they worry about food?! Seriously?
So in that teacher kind of way, Jesus gives them a clue:
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (Hello! Me, sitting here talking with her, is my food. It is my 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.”
And another time rolls around in their three year mentoring program and they still aren’t ‘getting it.’
When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “It’s because we brought no bread.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves ….. Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand …? (Matthew 15-16)
… in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve talked among themselves too, and they ended up running for the latest fig fashion and hiding from God.
… in the desert, the Children of Israel talked among themselves and it lead to grumbles and murmurs and a land of hope unrealized.
… in His presence, the Disciples talked among themselves and ended up arguing who would be first and sit next to him in His kingdom.
Talk is cheap. And careless talk is dangerous.
…It seems we too often get ourselves confused and in trouble when we talk among ourselves.
There is only one Word worth inquiring.
There is only one Word worth listening to.
Jesus, help me listen only to you, your Word… your love. Remind me to ask the only One who has the answers anyway.