Summary: Jesus states that the harvest is ready, and that He has called workers to go into the fielsto reap the harvest.
TITLE: Understanding the Harvest
TEXT: Matthew 9:35-38
THEME: KEYS TO AN ABUNDANT HARVEST
“My name is Ralph, and I am NOT a Farmer.” This was brought so clearly home, while pastoring my first church, in Gracefield Quebec. My congregation was made up of dairy and beef farmers, who had been farming the land for 5 generations or more.
( A little background is in order. Up till then I had lived my entire life in the city of Toronto. The closest I had been to a farm was watching Green Acres on TV. I actually believed that milk came from IGA.)
So with my vast array of agricultural knowledge, I thought I would impress my new congregation by preaching a sermon on the soils. I proceeded to use an illustration, to compare the seed farmers’ plant in the ground with the seed of the word that God plants in our hearts.
All worked well, until I opened my mouth and said, “When you farmers plant your hay…” Well, my feet could not have entered my mouth fast enough. That was the end of that message. When I realized my huge mistake, I abruptly ended my message, concluded the service and proceeded to leave the platform in abject embarrassment.
One of the farmer’s wives tried to encourage me by saying, “That’s OK, Pastor sometimes we have to plant the hay.”
Fall is the season of the year that is devoted to HARVEST. Following months of hard work, planting and sowing seed, the time comes when every farmer looks to gather in a return for his labors.
Like the farmer who works hard for his harvest, you and I can also expect to reap a harvest if we are faithful to our task. The harvest is inevitable. However, the fruits of the harvest will only be known once the proper keys are applied to unleash it.
How can I know it is harvest time? What kind of seed is necessary? How long will I have to wait? Can I be really certain that I will reap a harvest?
Yes you can be certain of a harvest. The keys to unlocking the secrets of the harvest are;
Faithful SERVANTS sowing the Right SEED, Planted in rich SOIL, in the proper SEASON will inevitably result in an abundant harvest.
Over the next few weeks, we will consider the KEYS to Unlocking An Abundant Harvest. We will learn from the master, Jesus himself. This morning we will learn some basic PRINCIPLES of the Harvest.
Please turn with me in your Bibles and read with me from Mathews gospel, chapter 9:35-38. ( READ)
The word, harvest, comes from the Greek word, therismos (ther-is-mos’), which means (in verb form) ‘to reap…’ To gather… Collect… Bring in…! (In the noun form) it refers to ‘the crop…’ The produce… The product… The yield…The people… The sheep… The lost, hurting, unloved… As I have said, I don’t claim to be an agricultural major, but the last time I looked, harvesting was done OUTSIDE…! Harvesting is done in the fields…!
Let’s breakdown three key principles that we can learn and apply from this passage.
I. PEOPLE MATTER TO JESUS
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Matthew 9:35 (NIV)
It is clear that Jesus met people at the point of their need.
Jesus put who he was and what he was about into practical use in the life of people. In the story that Matthew paints in chapter 9, we see Jesus heal six different people of various issues. He heals a man who could not walk, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, a girl who had died, two blind men and a man who was demon possessed. Jesus touched these people in very real and practical ways.
Our society has very real needs. There are three areas of need that I believe the church is uniquely equipped to deal with in the lives of people. They are issues that we as a body must address in people’s lives in order to make an eternal and lasting difference.
People need connection.
Our society has lost the connectedness that once was the fabric of who we were.
It was this connectedness that characterized the early church.
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer ( Acts 2:42)
Theirs was not a once a week social meeting. They met together, prayed together, played together, laufghed and cried together. They were a body connected , not by age, interest groups or money. Their connwctionflowed out of their relationship with Jesus.
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.( 1 John 1:7)