Summary: Jesus sees a great haravest but few workers
David P. Nolte
Harvest. Both a joy and a trial! I speak from experience after helping harvest hazelnuts for Childers’ Hazelnut Haven. Having been surprised by the prolific crop and being without harvest equipment we did it the good old fashioned way – we picked them up by hand – approximately 1500 pounds of them. Fortunately there were many helping hands toward the end. But even then we could have used more harvesters.
Apparently that is not a problem of our time only. The song Toni sang suggested that. It said,
“My house is full, but my field is empty
Who will go and work for Me today
It seems my children all want to stay around my table
But no one wants to work in my field
No one wants to work in my field.”
And Jesus said the same thing, as we read in the text: “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:35-38 (NASB).
And, ‘do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’” John 4:35-37 (NASB).
Here are three basic facts about harvest:
I. THERE IS AN ABUNDANT HARVEST TO REAP:
A. “The harvest is plentiful,” and, “fields are white for harvest.”
1. “The states less religious than Oregon, in order, are Washington, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In a 2006 Gallup poll, Oregonians tied for seventh state with the lowest church attendance, at 32%, along with California and Washington. Church attendance ranged from 58% to 24% in the poll.” Wikipedia.
2. Population prediction for USA in 2017 is 328,131,072 with China at 1,372,088,192.
3. Total population is predicted to be 7,407,534,413.
4. But those are just numbers – numbers that represent every individual on earth.
B. Sir Rodney has the correct view:
C. People are not numbers – you and I are not impersonal statistics – the fields of harvest are people who need the Lord–and though there are many lost it is not a game of numbers — it is one person at a time gleaned for Jesus.
D. Lift your eyes and look:
1. At school.
2. At work.
3. At the gym.
4. At the sports event.
5. At the neighborhood.
6. At home.
E. You should be proud of, and motivated by, Brendan Boyer, a teenage boy, who came forward last Sunday asking prayer to help him witness to a friend. That’s where to begin – with a friend or loved one. Let the Lord open other doors for you! “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. ... lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.”
II. THERE IS AN ABSENCE OF HARVESTERS:
A. “The workers are few.”
B. Why? Why do so many stay out of the harvest?
a. Of failure.
b. Of rejection.
c. Of persecution.
a. To any but our own problems.
b. To the souls of others.
c. To the Christless eternity of the lost.
a. Of the need
b. Of responsibility
c. Of Scriptures.
d. Of how to share faith.
a. Too many non-essential activities.
b. Burning the candle at both ends.
c. Trying to keep up with the Jones”.
5. Self indulgence.
a. It isn”t convenient.
b. I”m not comfortable sharing my faith.
c. It’s too difficult.
C. We would do well to remember that every heart with Christ is a missionary and every heart without Christ is a mission field.
D. Toni sang,
“Push away from the table
Look out through the windowpane
Just beyond this house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain
And it’s ripened unto harvest
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house
Oh, can’t the children Hear the Father sadly say:
‘My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today?
It seems my children want to stay around my table,