There are many roles for us to play in God’s world (Kingdom). Some of us sow the seed. Some of us weed. Some of us water. Some of us reap the harvest. When we play the role of the harvester, we need to remember those who went before us to sow, weed, and water.
Jesus has a role for us to play. Our job is to understand what it is today and be faithful to God’s plan. If our role is to get rid of the weeds today, then let us do it joyfully knowing that one day someone will be able to harvest the crop. In fact, if there is no weeding done, there will be no harvest.
We will all share together in the harvest. God knows about our faithfulness. We will all be triumphant together.
Here are the key ideas:
- It is important for us to serve the role today that God has given us.
- God’s goal is for the eventual harvest to be completed.
- God knows what the best thing is to happen today.
- God is good to patiently love the harvest in.
Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.
English Standard Version. (2016). (John 4:36–38). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
No doubt the disciples had said, as they approached the city of Sychar, “There can be no harvest here! These people despise us Jews and would have no use for our message.”
- But just the opposite was true: the harvest was ready and only needed faithful workers to claim it.
- For some reason, when it comes to witnessing for the Messiah, it is always the wrong time and the wrong place!
- It takes faith to sow the seed, and we must do it even when the circumstances look discouraging.
There is no competition in the Master’s harvest. Each of us has an assigned task and we are all a part of each other’s labors. One sows, one reaps; but each worker gets his honest reward for the work he has done.
Others had labored in Samaria and had prepared the way for this harvest. We do not know who these faithful workers were, nor do we need to know; for God will reward them. Perhaps some of these people had heard John the Baptist preach, or perhaps some of John’s followers had reached into this difficult field. Some archeologists have located “Aenon near Salim” where John baptized near the biblical Shechem, which is close to Sychar and Jacob’s well. If this is the case, then John the Baptist prepared the soil and planted the seed, and Jesus and the disciples reaped the harvest. Of course, the woman herself planted some of the seed through her witness to the men.
The disciples were learning a valuable lesson that would encourage them in the years to come. They were not alone in the work of the Lord, and they must never look on any opportunity for witness as wasted time and energy. It takes faith to plow the soil and plant the seed, but God has promised a harvest. In a few years, Peter and John would participate in another harvest among the Samaritans (Acts 8:5–25). Those who sow may not see the harvest, but those who reap will see it and give thanks for the faithful labors of the sowers.
Good News: God has a plan. We need to focus on our role today. God will show us what to do and what to say. We need to be willing and ready to spread the good news of God’s reign.