The Gospel of John now moves to the early ministry of Jesus, both in demonstrating his authority as from God, and reaching out to all beyond Israel alone. To the Pharisee Nichodemus, the message was spiritual not physical – you must be born again. to the woman at the well, again, spiritual more than physical – water that springs up to eternal life. To the disciples, spiritual more than physical – food that is doing the will of the Father as a crop for eternal life.
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 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. 36 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. John 4:34-36.
1. The First Great Theme of the Bible – Salvation. From the span beginning with Adam, and the redemption promised in the Garden of Eden, to the work and life of Jesus, the message is clear – you must be born again. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. This rebirth is described again as eternal water – a spring of water welling up to eternal life. this is the planted seed. This is the starting point for every man and woman. It asks of us, what have we done with the gospel message? Have we believed in Him and received the gift of eternal life? That is the first and great question of eternity.
2. The Second Great theme of the Bible – Discipleship. Salvation is the starting point. But spiritual life and growth and realizing all that God has for us is under the banner of discipleship. This is the imagery of the harvest from the planted seed. Open you eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. The growth and life of the disciple is to be productive in the living out of our faith and the good works to those around us so that other will see our lives and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
The whole of the Biblical message is this:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10.
Salvation: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. This is the starting point for the Christian.
Discipleship: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. This is the finishing work for the Christian.
Beginning to end. Life to life eternal. A gift of God, Then a life of meaning. All started by and credited back to God. Can’t do better than this for a Christmas message. God’s best to you during this season. We will take this up again in 2023, God willing.