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The One that Didn’t Get Away

12 May 2024

A man fishing from rocks

Have you ever heard the phrase “The one that got away”?  Most of us have heard it in reference to a lost love, but did you know the origin of the saying comes from the sport of fishing?  It originally referred to how the biggest and best fish always seems to escape the eager fisher.  How appropriate that this would apply to our Lord and Saviour, the ultimate “fisher of men”!


As we start our reading this week, we find Jesus on a Heavenly high!  He had just experienced a miraculous encounter with the Samaritan woman and He was full of the joy of a life changed through faith!  Have you ever witnessed to someone and felt the surge of adrenaline that comes from not only ministering from the move of the Spirit in your spirit to another, but also from that person receiving salvation?  We find Jesus here in that place of absolute fulfillment in his call, and his spirit surely full of the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:17)!


We don’t know how many times Jesus presented the Kingdom of God to others and was refused.  John 21:25 says, “Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  We don’t know about every evangelistic interaction that He had - He was a human the same as you I, and probably knew discouragement or disappointment on occasions.  We may have assumed that He always experienced victory when He presented the gospel to people, but we don’t know how many encounters He had that would be different from this one.  That perspective makes the victory of this moment even more exciting.


The fisher of men caught a big one - and nothing could take away His joy!  It is from that place that He ministers to His disciples here in John 4 about being so full of the word of God that natural food had no comparison to the fullness His spirit was feeling.  He had a taste of Heaven, and you probably couldn’t wipe the smile off His face.


Before this moment, Jesus had probably been sowing more seeds of the Kingdom of God in people’s hearts than we will ever know, and He was in this moment seeing a big harvest.  He was more than ready to bring it in!  That’s the place from which He ministered these amazing words in verses 35-38, and we see the result in verse 39-41.


We must be ready when the harvest comes.  If you have to wait when opportunity comes, it is already too late.  Stay ready, stay humble, stay soft - don’t let hard places get into your heart.  Do the hard work of keeping your soil good and planting the seeds of the word.  If you’re in a place where the people are responsive and ripe, be encouraged in the Lord’s work.  If you’re in an area that is dry and barren, where the grain grows slowly and you have not yet seen harvest, be encouraged in the Lord’s work.  “The Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant.” (John 4:37 MSG).  May the food that keeps you filled be the experience of doing the will of God, that will never grow old and will fill you full of Heaven.


When you minister, arm outstretched, and feel no return - know that Jesus probably felt that at times too.  Live for those moments when you will stretch out your arm and it will, at last, be received!  Stay ready (2 Tim 4:2) so that when it comes, when the fruit is finally ripe, you will be ready to harvest!  Sow as one who knows the value of sowing.  Sow as one who knows that the seed of God will never be sown in vain (Isaiah 65:23, 1 Cor 15:58), and that you will reap the reward of the harvester.  Then, you’ll see what Jesus saw here: you’ll feel that fullness of the Spirit that Jesus was overcome with in John 4.  Then, when you get the chance to catch the big one - it won’t get away!



Photo of Julia Post

Julia Post
GoChurch Bradford