The disciples came to Jesus after going on a shopping trip were wondering how come Jesus wasn’t hungry. He’d been hungry when they’d left, and now He wasn’t. They offered Him food and he told them He’d had some meat that they didn’t know anything about.
He wasn’t joking with them. They began to ask each other if anyone had brought Jesus some food. Then, Jesus told them how He had become satisfied: He’d been doing the will of the Father! What specifically had He been doing? He’d been witnessing to a woman who had come by to get some water at the well He was resting on. This account is in John 4.
In John 4:35, Jesus told His disciples not to think that the time to harvest was four months away, but it was NOW, if they had their eyes open. He said for them to look up, and when they were seeing from Heaven’s viewpoint, they’d see souls that were ready to be harvested for the Kingdom.
We’re like those disciples. We need to change what we’re looking at in life; what we have eyes for. We easily get focused on the small and petty things. Then, we feel that the time to go to work for the Lord is in the future. After something else is done. But, Jesus says, “No, NOW is the time. People are too lost, hurting too badly for you to put it off any longer.”
Look on the fields. Look at the people surrounding you. They’re searching for answers in all the wrong places. Some are searching for answers through “self-help”, which is like grabbling your own collar and trying to lift yourself off the floor. Others scramble for money and prestige, hoping it’ll distract them from the emptiness they feel inside.
Then, there are those who look for help in booze and drugs, all trying to fill themselves with things that don’t satisfy. And, there are the “religious” people, who vainly go to church week after week, but never fully dedicate themselves to walking in obedience to the Lord.
Ready to be harvested. Jesus says that all these people are being worked on by the Holy Spirit more than we realize. He’s working in their lives, in their circumstances and in their hearts, preparing them to come to Jesus. You might not recognize it, but when you see people through God’s eyes, you’ll know that they’re ready to be harvested.
It’s a matter of seeing them like Jesus sees them; of hearing the cries of their hearts rather than the words of hardness that come out of their mouths.
When we see people like Jesus sees them, we see them as weak, scared, hurting and stubborn! They’re not just going to jump into the Kingdom the first time they heart the Gospel. You’ll have to pray for them, talk to them and care about them.
Jesus says that the Father is needing people to go into His harvest fields and reap souls. God never intended the church of Jesus Christ to become an organization made up of a bunch of spectators. Jesus said “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” (Matthew 9:37).
He said, “Ye shall become witness, after that the Holy Ghost comes upon you (Acts 1:8).” He DIDN’T say, “Ye shall get the Holy Ghost and all His goose bumps, and then enjoy the Worship Service more.” No, He said that we would (not should) become witnesses.
The purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life is to make you become a WITNESS. To give you the edge you need in recognizing the people God is sending to you, and to understand WHY He has led certain people into your life.
Why does He do all this? So you can witness to them what Jesus has done in your life, and what He can do in theirs.
Most Christians don’t even expect to personally be used in God’s harvest. They don’t expect to ever personally lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus. So, they don’t even try.
When you don’t even TRY to harvest souls for the Kingdom, you enter into a danger zone. You get into the place where all your energy is used up trying to keep yourself straightened out. That’s when it’s hard to keep holy and it’s a challenge to read the Word. Since you’re not in prayer for the other people in your life, your devotional life starts slipping.
That’s when so many people begin to be unfaithful in their church: when they’re not actively involved in helping someone else secure salvation.
See, if you’re burdened of the Lord to bring a particular person to Him, you’ll read your Bible with a different heart. You’re reading and searching for things to help break that person free.
When you’re praying, it’s with the heart of compassion that only a soul winner has. You’re interceding for THEM, rather than praying prayers that are mostly about yourself and your immediate needs.
Since you’re so concerned that your friend comes to the Lord, your faithfulness in the House of the Lord increases. Why? Because you don’t want your friend to show up only to find that YOU’RE not there!
It’s a matter of prayer, asking God to first of all fill your heart with love for Him and with compassion for others. “When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them…(Matthew 9:36).”
It’s compassion that drives you to speak to your friends. You KNOW that they’re hurting in some way and that Jesus is the only one who can truly help them. So, you stay alert to what he or she is saying and you keep sensitive to how the Holy Spirit would have you respond.
People WANT to enjoy their lives more and they’d LOVE to know God in a personal way. They just get confused as to the “how to’s.” That’s where your Spirit directed speaking comes in. You listen and He’ll lead you as to HOW to get His message across.
In the next 2 verses, Jesus again tells His disciples that the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. And, again, He tells them to pray; to spend time with God over the situation. A lack of being a laborer in God’s harvest reveals a lack of prayer.
People who reach others get special blessings and rewards from God. Jesus said so. “He that reapeth recieveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal (John 4:36).” He didn’t say the person who THOUGHT about reaching others would receive wages. He said the person who actually reaches out gets a payback from God.
When you share Jesus with someone else, you’re helping them and you’re also helping yourself. You’re helping them by introducing them to the Savior, Who can give them forgiveness, eternal life and all the help and strength they’ll ever need.
You’re helping yourself by fulfilling the calling that Jesus put on your life and by being obedient. And, if you help save someone’s soul by pointing them to Jesus, you SHOULD be rewarded. And, it’s right to look for it in your own life. That’s what Jesus was telling the disciples.
Jesus talked about both wages and fruit. The wages are rewards from God here, in this life. It’s His favor, direction and blessing in your everyday life. You’ll experience His clear leading, guiding and assistance on a personal level, in all that you put your hand to.
The fruit is eternal fruit. Sweetness in life that lasts forever and won’t be taken away. It’s the way you store up treasure in Heaven. You’ll be able to rejoice centuries from now over the souls that came to Jesus through your praying and witnessing.
For example. In Boston, in 1858, a Sunday School teacher named Mr. Kimble, witnessed to a shoe clerk who gave his heart to the Lord. That shoe clerk became a strong Christian and went into the ministry, as an evangelist. He preached all across the United States and even went to Europe.
His name was D.L. Moody. (Moody Bible Institute in Chicago is the Bible School he founded.)
While D.L. Moody was in England, the pastor of a small church got on fire for Jesus, while listening to him preach. His name was F.B. Meyer. He became one of the most prolific writers and speakers of his generation.
F.B. Meyers preached throughout England and the United States, where a college student named Wilbur Chapman got saved. As a baseball player, Chapman got former ball player Billy Sunday to come to work with him at a YMCA, doing evangelistic work.
Billy Sunday ended up becoming a powerful evangelist, and in one of his meetings in Charlotte, N.C., some of the local businessmen got fired up for Jesus. So, they planned a follow-up evangelistic rally with a minister named Mordecai Hamm.
During Hamm’s revival, lots of the local high school students gave their heats to the Lord. One of them in particular answered God’s call to go into the harvest fields as a laborer. His name? Billy Graham.
That’s what Jesus meant by you bearing eternal fruit. Each person you reach, reaches other people, even dozens of years later, your fruit is still multiplying.
Let the Spirit of God speak to your heart. Then, let your heart speak to God’s heart. Ask Him to use you to bring people to eternal life. Ask Him to use you to deliver you from your cold heart and fear of rejection. Ask Him to make you a vessel that He can use to reap the Harvest. The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Ask God to make you one of His few!