Jesus made two puzzling statements here.
The first such statement is ‘my food is to do the will of Him who sent Me…’ What does food have to do with the will of God? Apparently, Jesus had Deuteronomy 8:3 in mind – ‘that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.’ That is, a man should not live for himself or for pleasure, but he should live to do the will of God. Jesus lived in such a way. He found satisfaction in doing the will of God. Specifically, evangelism is in view here. That is why He said that His food, instead of His mission, is to do the will of God.
Is your food to do the will of God? Do you share the same excitement as Jesus in sharing the Good News with the lost souls? Do sowing seeds of the gospel and reaping the harvest of souls bring you satisfaction?
The second puzzling statement from Jesus is – “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen! I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.”
Jesus seems to contradict Himself. The harvest was four months away. Yet, He said that the field was ripe for harvest. Here is how you resolve the conundrum. Jesus was talking about spiritual sowing and reaping. Sometimes, it follows the normal farming timetable. Sometimes, it does not. As soon as the sowing of the gospel seeds is done, the souls are ready for harvest. The prophet, Amos, prophesied concerning this.
Jesus was telling His disciples that this prophecy was becoming a reality before their eyes. He had just sown the gospel seed in a Samaritan woman with whom He had an interesting conversation, and He was expecting a bountiful harvest of souls. Jesus had barely finished talking to His disciples when many Samaritans came to look for Him because of the woman’s testimony. After Jesus had spoken to them, many of them believed Him.
This amazing phenomenon would be the new spiritual reality. We just need to open our spiritual eyes to see the ripen field of lost souls as God sees. Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields.” Earlier in the story, Jesus sensed an opportunity to preach the gospel to a desperately lost woman, but the disciples were only aware of their own hunger. So, they went looking for food while Jesus waited for the divine appointment.
Are your eyes always open to opportunities to share Christ? Are you usually sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading to preach the gospel?
Whether we are or not boils down to our passion to do God’s will. If we are motivated to save the lost, we will see opportunities and possibilities. We will sense what the Spirit of God is doing and saying and then we respond accordingly. More importantly, we will pray and intercede for the unsaved people around us. The moment God opens a door, we would jump at the opportunity. This ought to be the mindset of all believers since the Great Commission is given to every believer. It is the will of God. So, none is exempted.
Unfortunately, most believers are not focused on soul-winning. They are preoccupied with their own lives. Those in this category are not capable of identifying opportunities for evangelism even when the Lord places opened doors in front of them. They cannot see the field is already ripe for harvest. They can only see hard ground. Many of us are guilty of this.
What should we do?
Pray for ourselves to be eager to do the will of God, especially in soul-winning. Start praying for our loved ones and friends that have yet to know Christ. Be serious in your prayer. Take these two simple steps and we will begin to see as Jesus sees, that the field is ripe for harvest and the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37). The problem is not with the hard ground or the hardened hearts of the unsaved people, but our lack of passion and motivation to reach out to them with the gospel.
Pastor Les & Adeline Chua