|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:27-42 The disciples wondered that Christ talked thus with a Samaritan. Yet they knew it was for some good reason, and for some good end. Thus when particular difficulties occur in the word and providence of God, it is good to satisfy ourselves that all is well that Jesus Christ says and does. Two things affected the woman. The extent of his knowledge. Christ knows all the thoughts, words, and actions, of all the children of men. And the power of his word. He told her secret sins with power. She fastened upon that part of Christ's discourse, many would think she would have been most shy of repeating; but the knowledge of Christ, into which we are led by conviction of sin, is most likely to be sound and saving. They came to him: those who would know Christ, must meet him where he records his name. Our Master has left us an example, that we may learn to do the will of God as he did; with diligence, as those that make a business of it; with delight and pleasure in it. Christ compares his work to harvest-work. The harvest is appointed and looked for before it comes; so was the gospel. Harvest-time is busy time; all must be then at work. Harvest-time is a short time, and harvest-work must be done then, or not at all; so the time of the gospel is a season, which if once past, cannot be recalled. God sometimes uses very weak and unlikely instruments for beginning and carrying on a good work. Our Saviour, by teaching one poor woman, spread knowledge to a whole town. Blessed are those who are not offended at Christ. Those taught of God, are truly desirous to learn more. It adds much to the praise of our love to Christ and his word, if it conquers prejudices. Their faith grew. In the matter of it: they believed him to be the Saviour, not only of the Jews but of the world. In the certainty of it: we know that this is indeed the Christ. And in the ground of it, for we have heard him ourselves.
Verse 37. - For herein - in this harvest field, already whitening before your eyes - is the word veritably realized - it finds an ideal illustration of its meaning - One is the sower, and another is the reaper. It belongs to all common experience in such things; the first stone is laid by one, the topstone by another. The toil and tears of the sower with the precious seed are often the reason why another returns with joy, bringing his sheaves with him. It is an all-but universal law. Children inherit the toil of their fathers. We all stand where the shoulders of the mighty dead have lifted us. Still, though one be the sower and another is the reaper in this Samaritan field, yet, since "already" the reaper is busy with the sickle, the sower and reapers may rejoice together. The law will be established on a grander scale by and by, when the great Sower, who is the Lord of the harvest, shall send forth all his reapers to their great enterprise, and he and they will rejoice together.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And herein is that saying true,.... This verifies that proverbial expression so much in use, and which may be applied to different persons and cases:
one soweth, and another reapeth; the prophets sowed, and the apostles reaped.
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