“‘Do you not say, “There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest”? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor’” (John 4:35–38).
Using the grain growing in the surrounding fields as an object lesson, Jesus impressed on the disciples the urgency of reaching the lost. There was no need to wait four months; the spiritual fields were already “white for harvest.” He was likely referring to the Samaritans who at that moment were coming toward them (v. 30). Their white clothing formed a striking contrast with the brilliant green of the ripening grain and looked like the white heads on the stalks that indicated the time for harvest.
By telling the disciples that the one “who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal,” the Lord highlighted their responsibility to participate in the harvest of souls. They would receive their “wages”—the rewarding joy of gathering “fruit” for all eternity.
You have the same responsibility as the disciples. Pray that the Lord will give you opportunities to experience the joy of gathering souls as you cooperate with His Spirit.
Part of the hindrance to our evangelistic fervor is that the Lord often uses us as one in a long line of invitation points. Though He may be drawing this very person to faith, our own encounter is subject to being met by rejection. How do you overcome the fatigue of knowing that faith can sometimes feel like failure?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610