When Jesus had ministered to the Samaritan woman, the disciples felt that He was hungry. When they offered Him food He replied, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
In their confusion, Jesus responded with a well-known exhortation: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest” (John 4:31-35). Doing the will of the father by finishing the task of soul winning is the special food of Christ that many of us are not ready to eat.
Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval” (John 6:27). The food of Jesus is to give eternal life to humanity and every Christian is part of the meal by our involvement in giving the unsaved eternal life.
When Jesus was ministering to the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar, though He was physically hungry, His deeper hunger was satisfied in ministering to and saving one soul from pain, condemnation, and eternal damnation. This was more satisfying than any food which the disciples could provide. Jesus was very enthusiastic in witnessing to the Samaritan woman to the extent that physical food meant nothing to Him.
I have personally experienced the satisfaction of the food of evangelism and soul winning. There were many occasions when I introduced Jesus to unreached communities where no one had preached or heard about Jesus. I have not experienced any joy as deep, satisfying, and overflowing as the joy of seeing the unsaved come to Christ through my ministration. This is Jesus’ kind of food that every Christian should aspire for. It is the food that endures to eternity.
That many Christians are not enjoying this food calls for sober reflection, because there are enormous benefits attached to evangelism and missions. According to Charles Spurgeon, “Even I were utterly selfish, and had no care for anything but my own happiness, I would choose, if I might, under God to be a soul winner; for never did I know perfect, overflowing, unutterable happiness of the purest and most ennobling order, till I first heard of one who had sought and found the savior through my means. No young mother ever so rejoiced over her first-born child; no warrior was so exultant over a hard-won victory!”
Why the procrastination? Why assume there is still time before the harvest ripens? Do we really have to wait for some time before we tend to the harvest? The harvest is not only ripe, it is decaying for lack of harvesters. Despite all the beauties attached to soul winning, comparatively few seem to care to experience this perfect, deep, and satisfying joy. Every Christian knows little of the joy of salvation until he or she continually brings souls to Christ.
Let us lift our eyes to the fields of the streets of America, the towns of Europe, and the villages of Africa. Many are perishing for lack of the true bread of life. If we belong to Christ, we know that the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of evangelism, not procrastination and fear. The closer we get to Christ, the more our zeal for His Kingdom will grow.