“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” John 4:35
When Jesus sat down at the well, He was tired and hungry, but this opportunity to give living water to a thirsty soul made Him forget His weariness and hunger (John 4:1-26). The disciples come back and tell Him He ought to be thinking about food as they urge Him to eat (John 4:31).
But Jesus switched from talking about physical food to spiritual food – doing God’s will (John 4:32-34). We are to be concerned with the will of God. We are to be concerned with the salvation of the lost. Can we see the passion of Jesus’ heart? Are we more concerned about physical needs than spiritual? Are we praying only for the physical needs of our church members or are we concentrating on the spiritual needs of those inside and outside of the church?
We are to be PASSIONATE not just because this is God’s will for us. Jesus explains further, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’?” (John 4:35a). Jesus’ reference to “four months” was probably an agricultural proverb referring to the approximate time between seedtime and harvest. His point was that between the spiritual task of sowing the gospel and reaping belief, the intervening time may be much shorter as was the case in the present circumstance. The disciples needed spiritual vision.
Jesus said, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35b). Jesus saw a field of grain with rapidly ripening ears (“already white for harvest”) moving in the evening breeze. But He also saw another movement – a large group of “customarily white-clothed men of Sychar” moving rapidly toward them. Instead of the disciples being preoccupied with physical needs, they were to “look at the fields… already white for harvest.” The good seed of Jesus’ word had already brought forth fruit in the heart of a sinful woman. And now, the seed of her words to the villagers was about to bear even more fruit. This mass of people from Sychar were approaching Jesus and His disciples, ready to be harvested into God’s barn.
Do you sense the urgency in Jesus’ words?! “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” How urgent is this harvest? Ask the over 347,000 people (at the time of writing this article) in the world who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. If they could speak from their graves they would tell you how they wish they had sought after Jesus before they contracted this virus. It is too late for them now. Can you imagine that in the last few months thousands and thousands of people may have perished without Jesus?
Approximately 150,000 people die in the world each day. If current surveys are correct, and 13.1% are born-again Christians, that leaves 130,350 going to hell in the world each day. Picture this in your mind, would you? You are driving down main street and you look out the window and see the entire population being dragged down into hell by demons, some fighting and screaming about being faithful church members and some going willingly because they think there is a party waiting for them. Can you see how urgent it is that we share the gospel with the lost?
How many times have we missed the harvest because we have not been watching the fields? Jesus is saying that the fields are ready to harvest. Be ready to reap the harvest. Focus on the field. Don’t be so preoccupied with physical needs that you miss opportunities to reach others with the gospel of grace.
Prayer: Precious Lord of the harvest, help me to see the ripening harvest fields of people in the world today. They may be my neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, acquaintances, people on Facebook or Twitter who are ready to hear and believe Your gospel. Thank You for those who have sown the seed of Your Word in their lives. Please help me to see this harvest as You do – people whom You love and want to save forever from the fires of hell. Use me my Lord and my God to introduce these prepared people to You, the only One who can give them everlasting life the moment they believe in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.