The Fields are Ripe: Will You Go To Work for the Lord of the Harvest?
Last night, my wife and I took our four boys and one of the neighbor girls to see Jesus Revolution. It was strange for me, as I met some of the people in the movie, I’ve been to their churches, and to many of the locations depicted in the film. Yet that was not the strangest thing: for me, the strangest thing is that THIS is the same time we are in. Many of us don’t have to go far to see a generation of young people looking for love in all the wrong places, experimenting with drugs to find spiritual enlightenment, to see people chasing after sex and desires and “finding your truth.” And you know I’m not describing 1960’s America. This is here and now. As in “the summer of love” we see cities still smoldering from angry young people and rioting (yes, that happened!), we see political unrest, war on the horizon, and people losing hope. Yet we also see young people seeking Jesus, and we see it breaking out on college campuses and elsewhere all over the world.
As expected, this led us to some very personal conversations in the car ride home (we had a 2 and a half hour drive, but that’s another story). Convictions were aired (slightly), and we were left with some food for thought between the three oldest kids in the car (the two youngest had fallen asleep). Michaelene and I let the conversation happen naturally, but we didn’t waste the opportunity to sew some seeds. How often do we hold back when we know there’s work to be done? How often do we want to give the most convenient answer instead of having the long, difficult conversations? Jesus said the fields were ripe with harvest, and that we should ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers to His field. I say that I want to be like Isaiah: “Here I am, Lord, Send Me.” And whether the field is small or great, I think this should be the heart of every believer, whether we reach to few or many in our lifetime. There’s a generation searching for the truth, if you know the truth, why aren’t you seeking the out?
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”