The Reapers

And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.  I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

John 4:37-38

In any type of farming or gardening, there are basically have two absolutely necessary things that you must do if you want a crop: you have to plant the seed and you have to harvest the fruit.  If the seed is never planted, there will obviously never be a crop.  If a crop is planted, but no one ever harvests it, it will eventually spoil and die.  You must do both.  In these verses, Jesus is talking to the disciples about the second aspect: harvesting.  The woman at the well had brought out many people from her city to see and hear Jesus.  The seed had been planted.  It was now time for the disciples to tell them all about Jesus.  It was time for them to reap the harvest.

There is an old saying that says “No man is an island.”  I have always liked that saying because I like the truth it contains.  None of us live in isolation.  What we do, good or bad, affects others.  Sometimes we “enter into the labours of others.”  Sometimes someone else has planted the seed of gospel and we benefit from their labours.  Sometimes we plant the seed and another benefits from our labours.

No matter what our position, we need to be working in the Lord’s field.  They are, as He said, “white already to harvest.”  The disciples were able to build on the labours of another and were able to reap a great harvest of people who had come to see the Lord.  There are probably people that we know today who are ready to come to the Lord, if someone will show them the way.  As “reapers,” we need to be ready to do just that.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you, Ben, for always encouraging us to lead others to Jesus. This past fall my daughter and I went to an orchard that also grew pumpkins. It had been rainy and the field they were in was muddy . .not many people were willing to go out and pick any. I talked to the grandfather there , commenting on all the pumpkins out in the field .. .they looked so beautiful against all the brown and corn stubble. He said that they would go to waste and just get plowed under . .no one to harvest them. That image just stuck with me. So many souls ready to be harvested, but it can be messy .. take time and some work. Will I go to them anyway? I pray so. God bless you!


    • What a powerful image. Do you mind if I use that story as an illustration sometime? It fits so perfectly and I can just see the whole scene as you described it. Thank you!


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