Tuesday, December 18
Ripe for harvest!
Scripture: John 2-4
John 4:35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.”
Jesus has just told the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah, and she has run home and told her neighbors, “Come and see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could this be the Messiah?” And the Samaritans were streaming out of their village across the fields to the well where Jesus sat.
The disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman. They despised Samaritans, and generally didn’t speak with unfamiliar women in public. They didn’t understand Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost—all the lost—not just lost Jews, but lost Samaritans and lost Gentiles.
So Jesus tells them to open or lift up their eyes and look at the fields which are ready for harvest. The harvest isn’t in 4 months; it is now. Jesus was looking at the Samaritans coming across the fields towards him. These despised and rejected people were “ready for harvest”—they were ready to believe in Jesus and receive eternal life. This must have been shocking for Jesus’ disciples!
I believe this is always true: the fields are ripe for harvest. There are always people ready to believe and receive Jesus. Pascal said that each of us has a God-shaped vacuum inside that only He can fill. Augustine said that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. Everyone is looking for God, whether they know it or not. Everyone wants abundant life, life to the full, whether they know it or not. The harvest is ripe and ready and all around us.
I believe that people want Jesus—they may not know it, but they want Jesus. They want shalom—the peace and flourishing and well-being that God intended for us. I believe that people would love Jesus if they only had a chance to meet Him. When we share Jesus with people, we are sharing what they really want, what they really need, but may not know it.
And this story suggests that even the most unlikely people want God. Jesus’ disciples must have been blown away that this Samaritan woman received Jesus, and then brought all her Samaritan neighbors. The disciples would have considered them not just unlikely candidates for following Jesus, but impossible!
Instead of thinking that people don’t want God, and letting that silence us, let’s believe what Jesus said: the fields are ripe for harvest. People want God! Even the most unlikely! So let’s give Him to them!
Prayer: Lord, remind us of this truth, and let it empower us to boldly share Jesus with everyone we can—even the most unlikely!