- His Ways are higher than our ways
- Drinking freely of the Water of Life
- “This is not the Messiah, is it?”
- “I have food to eat that you do not know about”
- “My food is to do the will of Adonai”
- Tending to the spiritual harvest of Adonai
- Messiah did not come to “replace” the Law but to “fulfill” it
- The Patriarchs, Prophets and Messiah sowed the Seed of God’s Word
- The Great Joy of Harvest time
His Ways are higher than our ways:
עוֹד הוּא מְדַבֵּר כָּזֹאת וְתַלְמִידָיו בָּאוּ וַיִּתְמְהוּ עַל־דַּבְּרוֹ עִם־אִשָּׁה וְאִישׁ לֹא אָמַר־לוֹ מַה־תִּשְׁאַל אוֹ מַה־תְּדַבֵּר עִמָּהּ׃ וְהָאִשָּׁה עָזְבָה אֶת־כַּדָּהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ הָעִירָה וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאֲנָשִׁים׃ בֹּאוּ וּרְאוּ אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הִגִּיד לִי כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי אוּלַי זֶה הוּא הַמָּשִׁיחַ׃ וַיֵּצְאוּ מִן־הָעִיר וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵלָיו׃ הֵמָּה טֶרֶם יָבֹאוּ וְתַלְמִידָיו בִּקְשׁוּ מִמֶּנוּ לֵאמֹר אֱכָל־נָא אֲדֹנִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֶשׁ־לִי אֹכֶל לֶאֱכֹל אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַתַּלְמִידִים אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ הֲכִי הֵבִיא לוֹ אִישׁ לֶאֱכֹל׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ מַאֲכָלִי עֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹן שֹׁלְחִי וּלְהַשְׁלִים מַעֲשֵׂהוּ׃ הֲלֹא אַתֶּם תֹּאמְרוּ עוֹד אַרְבָּעָה חֳדָשִׁים וְהַקָּצִיר בָּא הִנֵּה אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם שְׂאוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וּרְאוּ בַשָּׂדוֹת כִּי־כְבָר הִלְבִּינוּ לַקָּצִיר׃ וְהַקּוֹצֵר יִקַּח שְׂכָרוֹ וְיֶאֱסֹף תְּבוּאָה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם לְמַעַן יִשְׂמְחוּ יַחְדָּו גַּם הַזֹּרֵעַ גַּם הַקּוֹצֵר׃ כִּי בָזֹאת יֵאָמֵן הַמָּשָׁל כִּי זֶה זֹרֵעַ וְאַחֵר יִקְצֹר׃ אָנֹכִי שָׁלַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִקְצֹר אֶת־אֲשֶׁר לֹא עֲמַלְתֶּם בּוֹ וַאֲחֵרִים עָמְלוּ וְאַתֶּם נִכְנַסְתֶּם בַּעֲמָלָם׃
While He was speaking like this, His disciples came and were amazed that he was speaking with the woman, but no one said to Him, “What did you ask?” Or “What did you speak about with her?” The woman abandoned her pitcher, went to the town, and said to the people, “Come and see a man, who told me all that I have done! Perhaps this is the Mashiach!” They went out from the town and came to Him. Before they came, His disciples asked him, saying, “Please eat, my master.” He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” The disciples said to one another, “Did anyone bring him something to eat?” Yeshua said to them, “My food is doing the will of the One who sent Me and completing His deed. Do you not say, ‘Another four months and the harvest will come’? I say to you, lift your eyes and look at the fields, for they have already turned white for the harvest! The one who reaps will take his reward and gather a crop for eternal life, so that both the sower and reaper may rejoice together. For by this the saying is confirmed that ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I Myself have sent you to reap what you did not labor for. Others have labored; now you have come into their labor.”
As Yehudim, when the Twelve Talmidin of the Messiah returned they were “amazed” that their righteous and holy rabbi would be talking to a woman (alone) at all; especially a Samaritan woman who was a stranger. Yet they had learned what we have yet to learn today that the disciples are not greater than their Master.
We find the unpredictability of our Master to be refreshing. We believe a true sign of the truthfulness of His claim to be our Messiah is His constant non-conformity and self-transcendence of our most strongly held cultural biases and (false) religious notions.
Rabbi Yeshua’s unpredictable behavior is yet another important indicator that He is the true Anointed One sent to us by Adonai our Father. The Holy One has always made it abundantly clear that His “thoughts” are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9):
כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבֹותַי מַחְשְׁבֹותֵיכֶם וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי נְאֻם ה’׃ כִּֽי־גָבְהוּ שָׁמַיִם מֵאָרֶץ כֵּן גָּבְהוּ דְרָכַי מִדַּרְכֵיכֶם וּמַחְשְׁבֹתַי מִמַּחְשְׁבֹתֵיכֶֽם׃
“For My thoughts (מַחְשְׁבֹותַי) are not (לֹא) your thoughts (מַחְשְׁבֹותֵיכֶם ),
Nor (לֹא ) are your ways (דַרְכֵיכֶם) My ways” (דְּרָכָי), declares Adonai.
For as the heavens are higher (גָבְהוּ) than the earth,
So are My ways higher (גָבְהוּ) than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Drinking freely of the Water of Life:
וְהָאִשָּׁה עָזְבָה אֶת־כַּדָּהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ הָעִירָה וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאֲנָשִׁים׃ בֹּאוּ וּרְאוּ אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הִגִּיד לִי כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי אוּלַי זֶה הוּא הַמָּשִׁיחַ׃ וַיֵּצְאוּ מִן־הָעִיר וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵלָיו׃
So the woman left her pitcher (waterpot), and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Anointed One (Ha-Mashiach) is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
Once the Samaritan woman had drunk freely of the spiritual (living) water of the Spirit (through her encounter with the Messiah) her temporary physical thirst was forgotten. She left her waterpot on the well (of Jacob) and ran back to the village. Excited beyond measure about the Master’s disclosure of His true identity to her, as the Messiah who was promised to come by Moses, she energetically and enthusiastically ran all the way back to her village to share the Good News of her great discovery. In her own words, “Come, see a man who (supernaturally) told me all the things that I have done.”
“This is not the Messiah, is it?”
“Could this be Ha-Mashiach?” She asked them. To the recipients of the Good News: This was too fantastic and exciting an opportunity to pass up, the possibility that the Messiah had come to Samaria and that there was still possible for the local populace to go and meet Him. So once the word spread throughout the Samaritan village of what the woman had seen and heard a large contingent of the townspeople quickly left their homes and shops and headed out of their town toward the Well of Jacob. It was at this historic well that they all hoped to meet (for themselves) this Man who possessed the knowledge of a prophet and who claimed to be the Messiah.
“I have food to eat that you do not know about:”
הֵמָּה טֶרֶם יָבֹאוּ וְתַלְמִידָיו בִּקְשׁוּ מִמֶּנוּ לֵאמֹר אֱכָל־נָא אֲדֹנִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֶשׁ־לִי אֹכֶל לֶאֱכֹל אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם׃
Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
Just as the Lord said to the woman at the well that He has water to drink that she knew nothing about, now He declares to His disciples (at the well) that He has food to eat that they know nothing about. The disciples as usual misunderstood this saying. They once again were thinking materialistically and not spiritually.
“My food is to do the will of Adonai:”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַתַּלְמִידִים אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ הֲכִי הֵבִיא לוֹ אִישׁ לֶאֱכֹל׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ מַאֲכָלִי עֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹן שֹׁלְחִי וּלְהַשְׁלִים מַעֲשֵׂהוּ׃
So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” The Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua) said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him (Adonai) who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
The response of the Messiah clarified that He was speaking of spiritual food.
His spiritual food was to do the will of Adonai who had sent the Messiah to “accomplish His work.” The Messiah had need of food, however, the great driving force of His life was not physical sustenance. The passion of the Master was to get the work of the Father done here on earth. The Messiah knew that man does not live by bread alone (the nurture of our temporal physical body) but by “every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai” (cf. Deuteronomy 8:3; i.e. the necessity of the nurture of our eternal spiritual being).
Tending to the spiritual harvest of Adonai:
Thereafter, the Master shifts the focus away from the disciples’ focus on the physical to His refocus on the spiritual by using a farming illustration: “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” “Yet four months” cannot be a proverb about sowing and harvesting because the normal time it took to sow and begin reaping a harvest in first century Israel was five to six months (plant fall, harvest spring). “Yet four months, and then comes the harvest,” more likely than not refers to the actual ‘real life’ circumstances that the Messiah and His disciples were experiencing. We must ask, therefore, “In what real life (first century) agricultural experience is the land of Israel ready for grain harvesting, yet, no harvest is allowed for four more months?”
As we understand it the only possible logical answer to this question is in a “shemitah” (שמיטה-shmita, literally “release”) sabbatical year. In a shemitah year all the land of Israel is to be made to lie fallow.
In a shemitah year the land must rest from any professional sowing and reaping. The farmer is also to rest. The sabbatical years (every seventh year) are to be times when members of the farming community are to take a break from physically sowing and reaping physical seed and instead, use the year to spiritually sow and reap the fruit of God’s Word in the prepared soil of their hearts, souls, and minds.
In a shemitah year the land must rest from any professional sowing and reaping.
It is clear to me that these Samaritans were respecting the Word of Adonai (the LORD) as best they could. No doubt this farming community was free to visit with the Messiah in mass for two more days because they were honoring the explicit Torah requirement to rest the Land (no doubt at significant financial sacrifice to themselves). Furthermore, it is just as inspiring to me to see that these humble villagers were so eager to use their free time to converse about spiritual matters; which also is a fulfillment of the implicit Torah directive that the free time they had (due to the resting of the Land) be used to “spiritually sow and reap the fruit of God’s Word” into the invaluable soil of their “hearts, souls, and minds.”
During the time of the sabbatical years—including every forty-ninth year, the year of Jubilee—whatever the land produces naturally the people can use. But they cannot harvest and storage the food. Furthermore, the reference here by the Messiah is not to the green eared barley grain but to the “white,” golden grain of wheat. Therefore, we would put this time in the late spring month of Iyyar (April-May) that is the month just “before” Sivan (May-June); which is the month when we celebrate Shavuot. This is precisely the case because we know according to the testimony that we have just received (before this in the previous excerpts from the Proceedings of the Heavenly Court) that these events occurred “after” Pesach and before Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks).
We recall that just a few weeks before Messiah’s encounter here in the Samaritan city of Sychar, He was in Jerusalem to observe Pesach. About this particular time when Messiah was at Jacob’s Well and gave advance witness of His besorah of the Spirit to the Samaritans—we also know that Shavuot (the festival of Weeks) had yet to occur.
This puts the time of our Lord’s present events somewhere in the middle of the forty-nine day period of time (in the spring season) which we now observe by participating in the “Counting of the Omer.” This forty-nine day period of time occurs from HaBikkurim (Firstfruits) to Shavuot; also called Pentecost; lit. meaning fifty; as in there are fifty days from Firstfruits up to and including Shavuot.
Messiah did not come to “replace” the Law but to “fulfill” it:
Some scholars have very wrongfully stated that the present events actually did occur during Shavuot. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It is very important to note that Messiah would ‘never’ fail to observe even one of the three mandatory feasts that He was required by the Law of Moses to attend each year in Jerusalem. Why? This is the case because as a practicing Jew Messiah was “born under the Law.” As such the Jewish Messiah did not come to “replace” the Law but to completely and perfectly “fulfill” it.
Messiah never disobeyed the Torah requirement of His personally observing the three (annual) mandatory royal feasts (each year), occurring on Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. So, the lack of a mention of the feast of Weeks (Pentecost) in the testimony that immediately follows this narrative places the present events in the forty-nine day period of time that exists in-between Pesach (HaBikkurim) and Shavuot. Consequently, the summer crop harvest that the Messiah is specifically referring to here is the ‘professional harvest’ of the golden wheat that in non-sabbatical years ‘begins’ on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, but in sabbatical years must be ‘delayed’ until the sabbatical month of Tishri.
Therefore, the harvest that is prophetically in view here: “four months” in the future— where the Torah observing farmers can professionally reap the existing harvest and, thereafter, sow again their new seed for the upcoming new year—had to occur during the fall month of Tishri, when we observe Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippurim, Sukkot, Shimini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah (September-October).
The Patriarchs, Prophets and Messiah sowed the Seed of God’s Word:
הֲלֹא אַתֶּם תֹּאמְרוּ עוֹד אַרְבָּעָה חֳדָשִׁים וְהַקָּצִיר בָּא הִנֵּה אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם שְׂאוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וּרְאוּ בַשָּׂדוֹת כִּי־כְבָר הִלְבִּינוּ לַקָּצִיר׃ וְהַקּוֹצֵר יִקַּח שְׂכָרוֹ וְיֶאֱסֹף תְּבוּאָה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם לְמַעַן יִשְׂמְחוּ יַחְדָּו גַּם הַזֹּרֵעַ גַּם הַקּוֹצֵר׃ כִּי בָזֹאת יֵאָמֵן הַמָּשָׁל כִּי זֶה זֹרֵעַ וְאַחֵר יִקְצֹר׃ אָנֹכִי שָׁלַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִקְצֹר אֶת־אֲשֶׁר לֹא עֲמַלְתֶּם בּוֹ וַאֲחֵרִים עָמְלוּ וְאַתֶּם נִכְנַסְתֶּם בַּעֲמָלָם׃
Do you not say, “There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest”? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.
The sowing of the seed of Adonai’s Word has already been accomplished by our fathers, the prophets, and the Messiah.
The near future prophetic time of “reaping” [in Modern Israel] is an allusion to the fact that it would be the modern Jewish talmidin of Messiah who today would be blessed to “reap” the (delayed sabbatical) harvest that was the direct outcome of the work of those who “labored” before us; over the last four thousand years—-beginning with father Abraham.
The Great Joy of Harvest time:
וְשֹׁמְרֹנִים רַבִּים מִן־הָעִיר הַהִיא הֶאֱמִינוּ בוֹ עַל־דְּבַר הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר הֵעִידָה לֵאמֹר הוּא הִגִּיד לִי אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי׃ וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ אֵלָיו הַשֹּׁמְרֹנִים וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ מִמֶּנוּ לָשֶׁבֶת אִתָּם וַיֵּשֶׁב שָׁם יוֹמָיִם׃ וְעוֹד רַבִּים מֵהֵמָּה הֶאֱמִינוּ בוֹ בַּעֲבוּר דְּבָרוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה מֵעַתָּה לֹא־בִגְלַל מַאֲמָרֵךְ נַאֲמִין כִּי בְאָזְנֵינוּ שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדַע כִּי־אָמְנָם זֶה הוּא (הַמָּשִׁיחַ) מוֹשִׁיעַ הָעוֹלָם׃ וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁנֵי הַיָּמִים וַיֵּצֵא מִשָּׁם לָלֶכֶת הַגָּלִילָה׃ כִּי הוּא יֵשׁוּעַ עַצְמוֹ הֵעִיד אֲשֶׁר אֵין כָּבוֹד לַנָּבִיא בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹלַדְתּוֹ׃ וַיְהִי הוּא בָא אֶרֶץ הַגָּלִיל וַיַּאַסְפֻהוּ אַנְשֵׁי הַגָּלִיל כִּי רָאוּ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה בִירוּשָׁלַיִם בִּימֵי הֶחָג כִּי גַם־הֵמָּה עָלוּ לָחֹג אֶת־הֶחָג׃
Many Shomronim from the town believed in Him regarding the word that the woman testified, saying “He told me all that I have done.” When the Shomronim came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, so He stayed there two days. Many more of them believed in Him on account of His word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, but because we have heard with our own ears and know that this One is certainly Ha-Mashiach, the Savior of the World.” At the end of two days, He went out from there to go to the Galil. For Yeshua Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own native land. He entered the land of the Galil and the people of the Galil took him in because they saw all that he had done in Yerushalayim in the days of the festival, for they also had gone up to celebrate the festival.
Harvest time is a time of great celebration and joy.
The Master’s brief, successful, joy-filled messianic outreach to the Samaritan people was the culmination of some two thousand years of faithful stewardship (sowing the Word of Adonai) from fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the Messiah. Since then, through the faithful stewardship of Messiah’s Hebrew Talmidim, there has been two thousand more years of reaping a harvest of human souls. During this span of time, those of us (Jew and Gentile together; a mixture like the Samaritans) who have come to faith in the Messiah, who “have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world,” we have experienced the great joy of seeing hundreds of millions of people come to faith in Adonai through these blessed persons ‘hearing,’ ‘understanding,’ and ‘obeying’ the Testimony of Messiah.
הַמֵּעִיד אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אוֹמֵר: “אָכֵן, אֲנִי בָּא מַהֵר.” אָמֵן. בּוֹא נָא הָאָדוֹן יֵשׁוּע!פ
He (the Mashiach, sitting at the right hand of the Majesty) who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come Ha-Adon Yeshua!
Today, in our twenty-first century, we rejoice all the more, for we know that soon the Messiah will return to Israel to establish the messianic kingdom of Adonai here on earth. So now our prayer is, “Lord come quickly!“