“Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.” vs. 35
The gospel of John is not kind to the disciples in that it often portrays them as not getting the point of what Jesus is up to. In this text they are preoccupied with finding food and are astounded by his careless associations. Not only is he having a conversation with a Samaritan, but he’s been hanging out with a woman! While they are likely anxious to get out of unclean territory he decides to hang out there for two more days. They know they’ve been called for ministry…they just don’t see any prospects in that particular locale. Jesus tells them to look around, “Take a look at all these Samaritans,” he says, “this place is ripe for harvesting.” Too often we have that same kind of short-sightedness as we consider our call to discipleship. We spend a lot of time lamenting the lack of opportunity for outreach when in truth there are thousands of people needing to hear and experience the gospel of grace all around. This is an age of intense spiritual curiosity and people are searching as never before. There’s a sense of discontent with traditional forms and styles of being the church, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t hungry for valid God encounters. Some of the groundwork has already been laid…and we have been sent to reap where others have labored. All that is lacking is imagination and courage…the harvest awaits.
Thought for the Day: Why do some congregations struggle with outreach?