“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 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 4:34–35
We can’t see what God can see.
The disciples have just returned from a shopping trip to the market of the Samaritan city of Sychar and they find Jesus engaged in a conversation with a Samaritan woman. The apostle John points out that they all marveled that Jesus was talking to her but that they knew better than to interrupt their master or question whether or not he should talk to anyone. But the fact that he tells us this indicates that they all very much wondered why he was talking her and questioned the appropriateness of the conversation.
Very shortly after they arrived the woman left and the disciples gave Jesus some of the food they’ve bought and urge him to eat, to which he replies, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
This response leaves the disciples looking around at each other and asking if someone else has given Jesus food. They don’t realize that there is a hunger greater than merely the hunger for physical sustenance and it’s this hunger that Jesus is talking about.
What is the hunger? It’s the desire to fulfill the purpose for which he’s been sent into the world. Jesus is here to seek and save the lost. The disciples when they returned to the well with food only saw a Samaritan woman but Jesus saw someone hungering for salvation and righteousness. The disciples were looking to sometime in the future for the fulfillment of their purpose on this world but Jesus sees that there is right in front of him an opportunity to do the work he was sent to do.
Too often we, like the disciples, look to some time in the future to do what God is calling us to do. We make excuses and delay doing the work God’s given us, that work of giving his message of salvation and the good news that he’s soon return to a spiritually starving world saying, “I’ll be ready after I’ve done this preparation.” Or “I’ll get serious and get to work after this event has happened.”
Jesus’ message to his disciples, and his message to us, is that we haven’t entered into a training program that will prepare us to be reapers before we enter the harvest. What we’ve been called to become part of is an on the job training program where we’re taught how to work for souls while we’re working for souls.
There’s no time for us to delay in doing the work of bringing in the harvest. The harvest is already ripe, and as every farmer knows when the harvest is ripe the time to bring it in is now.
In this world of busy and often distracted people Jesus commands us today to look up and open our eyes to see the harvest that he’s made ready to be gathered in and he calls us to enter the harvest and reap.