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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Harvest 2015: Looking at the world through Gospel eyes.

John 4:35 (b)

Jesus said to his disciples:
Look, I tell you,lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

The occasion:
  • Jesus is in Samaria, sitting next to Jacobs well just outside of the town of Sychar.
  • He has asked a solitary Samaritan woman for a drink. Unusual thing for a Jew to do!
  • As a Samaritan she was an outcast from the Jews but she was also an outcast from the women of the town hence she went alone to gather water.
  • Jesus exposed her lifestyle to her, 5 husbands in the past and now living with a man.
  • She was concerned with water for life but Jesus offered Water that gives spiritual life to her.
  • He declares Himself as the awaited Messiah for whom both Jews and Samaritans eagerly awaited.

Enter the disciples back from food shopping.

Interestingly: The disciples never asked why Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan woman. Was their Jewish bigotry showing? The Jews hated the Samaritans more than any other nation. It is shameful when such bigotry is in the church!

  • The woman goes back to town and declares Jesus to the townsfolk: Is this man the Messiah?
  • The people of the town come to Jesus.
  • The disciples wanted Jesus to eat but His mind was elsewhere. They were concerned about food for the stomach but His concern was the bread of heaven that gives eternal life to all who believe.
  • They had so much to learn which is what caused Jesus to say the words of our text today.
  • Jesus told them that although it was four months to the harvest there is an even more important harvest coming to them. The townsfolk were coming towards them.
Jesus said in effect: “Here comes a harvest of souls.”

The people were just like a harvest field swaying in the breeze. Jesus told His disciples to look up from their sandwiches and see the reality of the situation. Look beyond your bigotry and see people whom I love and see what I will do with them. They need harvesting from sin to eternal life. Jesus told His disciples to look beyond everything else and see. This is an imperative, a command, “look I tell you” comes with force and authority.

Do as I tell you” Jesus is saying to them.

That is still Jesus' command to His people today, we are to look at all people as God's harvest field. Are we looking for people to come to Jesus. The Samaritan woman after meeting Him brought the whole town to Jesus! Are we really concerned for the souls of all that we know? Who did you last introduce to Jesus and WHEN?

The fields are white for harvest: On that day Samaria was open for the gospel, the town people were coming to meet Jesus because of what they heard from the woman. When the saw Jesus they were then harvested.

Read verse 42:

They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know indeed that this is the saviour of the world.”

Unless a field is harvested the harvest is hopeless. Can you imagine a field of ripe corn just left there because the farmer believes that if it wants to be harvested then it will come by itself? If it wants to become a cornflake then it will do it by itself!

Sadly that is just how many Christians view evangelism today. Jesus instructed His people to look at others and to make disciples of them in the same way that this Samaritan woman did. Our combine harvester is the gospel which speaks of Jesus' work of salvation and then by the Spirit of God truth is confirmed into hearts just as with the townsfolk of Sychar. The were not satisfied with the woman's experience they experienced saving truth for themselves by coming to Jesus personally.
I have to ask you this morning “have you had your own personal experience of Jesus or are you here relying on another persons experience?”
When you come to Jesus personally then you will know and believe that He really:

  • Did come from the glory of heaven and become a man.
  • Was born of the virgin Mary.
  • Did live a perfectly sinless life.
  • Did die on the cross as the Only sacrifice acceptable to God for the forgiveness of sin.
  • Did rise from the dead.
  • Did ascend into heaven on the third day.
  • Does now sit in heaven with God the Father.
  • Is the only Saviour of the world.

When you know this and call on the name of the Lord then you shall be saved.

Are you?
Christians our responsibility is to look for our harvest field! Are we truly looking at the white fields?

That is the purpose of our time of prayer today, stay for lunch and then pray with us that we might see this harvest field that is ready for our reaping.

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