“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.”” John 4:38 NIV
It’s harvest time. That means its time for cooler nights and pumpkin spiced everything. One of the popular activities in my household during this harvest time is apple picking. I have to be honest, I’m not a fan. I would much rather just buy my apples at the grocery store, but my wife loves it so I acquiesce. Every year we go and I watch the faces in the orchard. Moms, dads, boys and girls running through the rows of trees; faces gleaming with joy when they find fruit worthy of placing in their baskets. All these faces, all these people, filled with joy as they reap a harvest that someone else sowed.
In John 4, Jesus has just finished telling the Samaritan woman, “everything she ever did” and He sits at the well waiting for harvest that he knows is coming. He knows its coming because he planted the seed. He did the work and now he waits to see the fruit of his labor. The disciples are oblivious. Their concern is tied up in getting Jesus to eat something. After all, they did just run all the way into town to get him the food. Now, Jesus is uninterested. His focus is on something else. Unaware of his reasonings and eager to make their trip worthwhile they push Jesus further. Jesus reveals where is focus is…
““My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34 NIV
You see, Jesus had all the sustenance he needed. It wasn’t found in figs, bread, or fish; It was found in doing the will of him who sent (Jesus) and finishing his work. Jesus was literally on a mission from God. His job was to finish the work the Father started way back in Eden. A work of repairing the divide that separated man from his Creator. A work that Christ completed when he bore our sins upon the cross and uttered the words, “It is finished.”
Now, it’s harvest time.
And just like the faces I see every year in the orchard, our faces should light up with joy as we eagerly look for the fruit of God’s handiwork. The souls, once lost, who are now making their way back to the arms of the Father. As we see them, we become tools used in the reaping process. Paul describes this role as ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5). The work has been completed, the seeds have been sowed, the vine has been tended to, but now the fields are ripe for harvest. It’s time for us to reap the benefits of Christ’s labor.
Are you ready to gather the harvest for Christ?
Are you willing to be a minister of reconciliation, leading people back into the loving kindness that the Father has waiting for them?
Lord, today I pray that you would prepare us to participate in your harvest. Let us be joyful as we seek out the fruit for which you labored. Let us be slow to speak and quick to listen to your instruction during this time. Let us share in your ministry of leading the lost back home into your loving arms.