From the Pulpit: Reaping the harvest

Text: John 4:34-39 – “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.

Jesus always took advantage of the situation. In this case, when the disciples were concerned with food, Jesus directed their minds to the harvest – but it was not a harvest of grain that He was talking about, it was a harvest of souls.

Sychar is in the middle of a region that is still famous for its corn. Jesus looked up and pointed to the fields and said: Look, the fields are white and ready for harvest. In Samaria there is a harvest ready for reaping now. In the ordinary world men sowed and waited, but in Samaria things were happening with such a divine suddenness that the word was sown and on the spot the harvest was waiting.

Something really amazing was happening. While the disciples were looking for something to eat, Jesus interacted with a woman (sowed the seed), who then brought out the whole town to the well where Jesus was waiting (sowed more seed), and by the time the disciples returned, numerous men and women believed in Jesus, the awaited long Messiah, and were ready to be ushered into the family of God (the harvest).

What Jesus is doing here is nothing less than claiming that with Him the long awaited golden age had come; God’s time is here; the time when the word is spoken and the seed is sown and the harvest happens.

The message of God is being proclaimed all around the world – including in this brief article – the golden age of God’s grace is here, now. There will never be a time like this – the time of God’s amazing grace dealing with such incredible kindness with the sinner who needs to find salvation in the Lord’s Anointed Savior – none other than Jesus Christ.

The people in Sychar responded favorably to Jesus, the Christ – to God’s call to repentance from sin, and the acceptance of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ – will we do the same today, or will we hear God’s call, but then turn and walk away sad, as did the young man who received a similar challenge from Jesus because he didn’t like God’s terms (Mark 10:17-23)?

The fact that God is – all through the Bible – making such a strong appeal for people to turn to Him and accept His offer of salvation, must mean that the direction in which man is heading is really bad. We have to wonder why so many people pay so little attention to it.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)