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When is the harvest?

John 4:35

"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!”

The phrase “Do you not say” meant that at that time, there was a common saying among the Jews that there were still four months and then the harvest. this saying was meant as an excuse not to harvest- to be lazy and not proactive.  I have heard it said over the years that we, as Christians, are to behave ourselves in such a way that people see the way we conduct our lives and desire to find out the reasons behind it. It has been said that we win souls with our conduct and not our mouths. First of all let me emphatically state that I believe a Christian’s life must reflect Jesus Christ circumspectly. I believe, however, that this reflection is a result of knowing the Father and allowing His Word to permeate our hearts so effectively that our actions and lifestyles follow suit. Therefore, please do not deceive yourself into thinking that I don’t think we should live our lives as examples of Christ on this earth because I most certainly do. That being said, there are so many Christians who do not speak the word of God in season because they tell themselves that it is not the season for the harvest. They tell themselves that they are “planting seeds” in the lives of those around them by the way they live their lives. This is an absolute cop out!!! The above passage assures us that this mentality was true even with the disciples in Jesus’ day. They were telling themselves that it wasn’t the right time to manifest the Kingdom of God with everyone around them. Most likely they held this mindset because they were afraid of the response of the people. They would have believer, like so many Christians today, that because they were not perfect they had no right or actual ability to reap the harvest of souls around them. 

    The outstanding and prevailing compilation with this mindset is that the person who is doing the harvesting truly believes that they are responsible for the maturation of the harvest. Think of it this way- suppose I owned a cornfield and I spent my time working the ground, planting and tending the corn. Then suppose it was time for the harvest and it was too much for me to physically do on my own, so I hire you to help me “bring in the harvest.” When you agree to work for me, our conversation would consist of the amount of time I would need you to work, what I needed you to do and how much I would pay you. this would all be agreed upon beforehand. Then say the day came and you showed up to work as agreed. I handed you whatever supplies you would need to harvest the corn and then just as we were about to enter the field together, you back off and stand there. You stand there because for some reason you assume that if the corn you harvest is not big enough or not good enough or is hard to harvest that I will not give you what I have promised. You believe that you should wait a little longer so that the corn just falls off of the stock and you can go and pick it up. That would be insane- it is my field, I have chosen what to plant, how to take care of it and when to harvest it…. it has really nothing to do with you, but arrogance and fear have stopped you from doing what you have been hired to do. 

    This is what the above verse means. Jesus was telling the disciples as He tells us that we can gain a harvest at any moment of any day if only we will listen to the Holy One of Israel. He says it is time to harvest so we cannot just arrogantly and self centeredly sit back and wait until we think that either we are “ready”, or the souls are “ready” for the harvest. We must move now because He said it was harvest time and it is His harvest. He is ultimately responsible for the state of the harvest - we are not. Let us not think so highly of ourselves that we decide that the “season” isn’t right and use our lives as an example as a cop out to fail to do what God is telling us to do… NO let us be ready in season and out of season by preaching the word, convincing, rebuking, exhorting with long-suffering and teaching! {1 Timothy 4:2}

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