Ripe unto harvest
John 4:30-38 (NRSV) 30 They left the city and were on their way to him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
A few months ago I retired from preaching due to my health. But, may I tell you I did not retire from ministry. There are people all around us who need help. Some need healing, others need to know that someone cares, and still others need to hear about Jesus.
In today’s Scripture, Jesus was with His disciples and they were concerned about His well-being. How could He continue His ministry if He did not take care of Himself. Surely He needed to stop long enough to eat. But Jesus told them that doing His Father’s will was “food” for Him.
Jesus went on to say that the time to bring people into the Kingdom was not in the future, but it was at that very time. You see, there are many things in our life where we can say, “I’ll do this or that tomorrow.” Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is not one of those things that can be put off.
As Christ followers we should be more serious than ever before about ministering to others in Jesus’ name. We should ask Jesus every day to send someone across our paths that we can help, whether physically or spiritually. Then, we need to have the presence of mind to help the people we meet. Let us not get so caught up in our own lives that when God sends someone for us to help that we miss the opportunity. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Father God, we pray today that You will make us aware of the opportunities You provide for helping others. May we have Kingdom understanding and may we always see others through Your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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