ATP Blog 21 Farmer
Do you ever think of Jesus Christ as a farmer? How about yourself? Multiple times the Bible talks about the world as a field of grain, often wheat. In this passage, as the disciples return to find Him talking with the Samaritan woman, Jesus explains His priorities to them.
Planting Seeds The first thing a farmer does is to prepare the soil and plant the seeds. When the disciples returned with the food, they urged Jesus to eat, since He was hungry. Instead of eating, He revealed a more important priority: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (4:34) Who is the One who sent Jesus? He was sent by God the Father (3:34) What is the will of God? His greatest desire is to save people from sin, and to give them everlasting life! (3:16-17) This is done through the sacrifice of Christ, and the reconciliation of each individual with God through repentance. Jesus accomplished this by planting the seeds of the gospel and truth into the soil of the Samaritan woman, and through her to the soil of the entire town.
Harvesting a Crop The growth of the crop is completely up to God (and the weather), leaving the next step for the farmer as harvesting. At this point in time, the physical harvest was yet four months away, yet Jesus pointed out to His disciples that the spiritual harvest was ripe and ready! When the harvest is ripe, the farmer does not hesitate, but immediately goes and collects it. For Jesus, more important than physical nourishment at this time was the harvest of souls. As the people of the town came to hear the good news of the gospel, Jesus explains to His disciples, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (4:35)
Receiving Wages The workers to help harvest the crop, then receive their wages. In this case, the wages were ‘fruit for eternal life.’ (4:36) As Christians, we most often think of spiritual fruit as that which is listed in Galatians 5:22-23, but there is also the fruit of spiritual rewards from bringing in the harvest. Paul later explains (1 Corinthians 3:5-9) that some people are called to sow the seeds, others water, and still others take in the harvest. All are important (4:37) in the Kingdom of God. Jesus helps His disciples understand that He had planted seeds, which they would later help harvest (4:38), but that they should not take the credit for the harvest! God is the One who makes the seed grow in the hearts of those who receive it.
Calling What is your calling … what is God asking you to do? You may be planting seeds through your verbal and active testimony. You may be watering those seeds through progressive discipleship. You may be taking in the harvest by leading someone to Christ. In any of these situations, make sure you are being obedient to your calling. Recognize the work of God in that person’s heart, through the Holy Spirit, and the work of others in doing the steps that you have not been called to do. Praise God for the harvest of Souls that continues today, when Christians are obedient to their calling. Thank you Jesus Christ for Your example!