Who Will Go?
Dr. John K. Mathew
In John chapter 4, we see our Lord Jesus Christ ministers to a variety of people.
The sinful Samaritan woman, the Samaritan people who trusted in Him, a nobleman and his family, and finally his disciples.
On his journey to Galilee, he had to go through Samaria and, He arrived at Jacob's well and met with a Samaritan woman. Even though He could have taken one of three possible routes to Galilee He deliberately chose the Samaritan route because it was a divinely appointed schedule. He was weary, hungry and, thirsty. Jesus started his encounter with the Samaritan women and at the end of his discourse with her, she put her trust in Jesus Christ and converted.
She immediately wanted to share her faith with others, so she went into the village and told the men she had met Christ. Many of the Samaritans believed in Christ because of the testimony of the woman. Excited, these people came to see Jesus and requested Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed with them for two days and ministered to them.
Our Lord continued His journey to Galilee and came again to Cana. Jesus was met at Cana by a nobleman from Capernaum. The man heard about His miracles and came all that distance to intercede for his son, who was dying. His request was granted and his son was healed – this was the third person our Lord Jesus Christ ministers to in this chapter.
The fourth group of people that Jesus reaches out to in this chapter are His disciples. When Jesus had his encounter with the Samaritan woman his disciples went to the nearby town for food. They returned from obtaining food and urged Jesus to share the meal with them. At that point, Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know" (John 4:32). As usual, they did not understand and Jesus further said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and finish His work" (John 4:34). Then He said to them, "Lift your eyes and look at the fields, they are already white for harvest" (35).
Jesus ministered in different ways to different people depending upon their needs. His ministry was entirely different to His disciples. It was a humble request to lift their heads around and see the possibilities or a mandate to see the realities and respond. Yes, the same mandate holds good for us - it is given to us! And it is high time for us to lift our heads.
Two hundred years ago a poor cobbler, William Carey who was born in England lifted his head and saw the millions of poor and downtrodden people in India dying in extreme poverty and ignorance which grew to a point that even very young widows killed themselves on the burning pyre of their husbands. On 11th October 1793, he reached Calcutta and the rest is history.
In the year 1853, another young man from Yorkshire in England set sail to China, Hudson Taylor, and changed the destiny of a nation. There are a plethora of examples.
Let me conclude with the story of David Wilkerson. He was pastoring a small church in the state of Pennsylvania. He was in the habit of watching television before going to bed. One night he decided not to watch television. Soon his attention was turned to a copy of the Time magazine in which he saw the pathetic picture of teenage gangsters caught by the police
in New York city. He was so sympathetic toward them and decided to go to New York and rescue the children. It was not an easy task. Wilkerson decided to quit his pastorate in Pennsylvania and move over to New York. He went to New York and worked among the poor, innocent, and downtrodden slum dwellers in the New York metro and saved most of those children. God Almighty used him in a mighty different way in the city of New York and the Time Square church where more than 10000 people attend in one service is the result of his hard work.
Would you lift your head? Would you hear that voice "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6:8). Let that sound keep echoing in our ears.