“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
God is, and always has been, the Sower. He plants his seed in the hearts of men, and though it is his seed and his harvest, he allows us the privilege of laboring alongside him in the fields. And it truly is a privilege!
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” quotes Paul, as he reverse engineers the process of salvation in the epistle to the Romans:
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
The Samaritan woman was running upon her own beautiful two feet as she hastened back to the village, proclaiming to anyone who would listen, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did!” And they did come; they came in droves.
“Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” – The Bible tells us that many people from the village believed in Christ because of the woman’s testimony. This nameless woman had played a major part in reaping this harvest of souls, and thus she had the exquisite honor of sharing in Christ’s joy with him.
“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” – The Holy Spirit is always at work within the hearts of those around us and he incorporates our simple acts of obedience into the process, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes, we may be helping to till the soil, at other times, we may be helping to water the plants, all the while not knowing what the final results of our labor will be. And we might never know, at least, not while we are living here on earth.
“Do you not say that it is yet four months and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and see the fields, because they are already white toward harvest!” (Berean Literal Bible) – Once again, Jesus challenges his disciples to shift their attention away from the natural world to focus on the spiritual world. In the natural world, the newly sowed fields were only beginning to turn green, but in the spiritual world there was a ripe harvest ready to be gathered in.
Imagine the beautiful sight that met their eyes! Here comes the Samaritan woman, followed by a whole crowd of men and women eager to meet the one she spoke of; their flowing white garments mimicking the spectacle of a ripe barley field swaying in the midday sun. What a sharp contrast to the scene they had witnessed earlier that day when they glanced back to see their master seated at the well, weary and alone. But such is the glory of the unseen power of God at work – Seed and Sower, Water and Well – he alone is the source of all.
“Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8 NASB)