Bible Reading: John 4:31-54
Have you ever felt the Lord leading you to tell someone about His love and the good news of the Gospel…but then you thought, “Maybe not. After all, they probably would not be interested.” So you never got around to it. You never told them about Jesus. Hopefully, after reading this passage, you will have a different response, next time.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Which of the following are fruits and which are vegetables?
- Green beans
Are you ready for this? They are all fruit. Whaat? Yep, at least according to some people. By scientific definition, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. By those definitions, seedy outgrowths such as apples, squash and tomatoes are all fruits, while roots such as beets, potatoes and turnips, leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems such as celery and broccoli are all vegetables. But it’s not always that easy. For instance, a tomato is the official “vegetable” of New Jersey and the official fruit (and vegetable) of Arkansas. In 1893, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an imported tomato should be taxed as a vegetable, rather than as a (less taxed) fruit. The court acknowledged that a tomato is a botanical fruit, but went with what they called the “ordinary” definitions of fruit and vegetable…the definitions most often used in the kitchen. So I guess what mattered there was not so much what science had to say…but what would bring in the most tax money.
And it just gets more difficult. Not only can we not decide between a fruit and a vegetable…but, then we can’t decide which fruit to buy. I’m walking through the grocery store the other day when I see this man smelling a pineapple. Then, I saw a lady thumping a watermelon. Another man was gently squeezing a tomato. And finally, a guy was holding up a clear container of apple juice and trying to look through it. Okay, so I believe that the first three were trying to see if the fruit was ripe. The third guy…no idea. I just went to the other side of the aisle and hurried past him. Spooky!
How do you tell if fruit is ripe, or not? I found some suggestions…
- Cantaloupe…should feel heavier than it looks. It should smell musky and sweet. You should be able to press your thumb in slightly on the bottom and there shouldn’t be a lip around the stem.
- Pineapple…should be firm, not mushy, but not rock hard either. The most important thing is smell. A ripe pineapple will smell sweet. Pluck out one of the leaves near the center. If it comes out fairly easily then the pineapple is good to go. If it’s hard to pluck, it’s not ripe, yet.
- Strawberry…should smell sweet. A ripe strawberry will be red through and through. A strawberry picked under-ripe will be white, or even slightly greenish at the top.
- Watermelon…should have a hollow sound when you tap or slap the outside. Also, look for the patch where the melon would have been on the ground (called the field spot). If it’s a yellow color its probably ripe. If it’s white, it’s probably not. It should feel relatively heavy when lifted.
What does this have to do with anything? Especially, anything dealing with the Bible? Well…Jesus was teaching His disciples and said, “lift up your eyes, and look onto the fields, they are white for harvest.” That means that they are ready…they are ripe…to be harvested. Okay, it just took me a while to get here.
What did Jesus mean when He said that the fields were “white”, or ripe? Well, He wasn’t actually talking about wheat fields, or barley fields, or any kind of food being grown in a field. He was talking about people. He was saying that they were ready to be harvested, they were ripe…they were ready to respond to Him in faith.
Jesus had just spoken with a woman and she had responded to Him in faith. Then, she went and told a bunch of her friends about Jesus and many of them had responded in faith. After that, they came to Jesus…and even more responded in faith. Now, here is the key…they were Samaritans. Do you remember our conversation a while back about Jews and Samaritans? They did not get along…at all. But here they were…responding in faith to Jesus. Why? They were ripe.
Jesus told the disciples to take a closer look at those people. Probably, just a few minutes before, they had been looking at those same people and thinking, “Samaritans. What in the world is Jesus doing bringing us here? We need to go somewhere will people will be receptive.” And now, those very people were responding in faith to the message of Jesus. Do you ever look at someone and think that they probably would not respond well to the message about Jesus? Have you ever decided to not tell someone about Jesus because you don’t think that they would accept Him as their Savior? Be careful not to decide for people how they will respond. Instead, you tell them about Jesus…and let them respond, for themselves. It could be that God has been working on their hearts and that they are ripe…just waiting for someone to tell them about Jesus. Get out there in the fields, where people are, and tell them about Jesus. It could be that a great harvest is about to begin!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,