Farms are dependent on workers, whether hired hands or members of the family, the farm’s harvest requires people to actually make the harvest.
My home is surrounded by fields where corn and soybeans are grown, and every year, like clockwork, turbines come by to harvest the crops. These turbines are operated by men, farm workers, who are responsible for bringing in the harvest.
Jesus used the farm analogy in Matthew 9:35-38:
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Why did Jesus use this phrasing, “the harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few”?
I mean, with all of the pastors and missionaries in the world, and especially the number of pastors in this nation alone, you would think that there were plenty of laborers.
Unfortunately, the number of pastors actually preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ,sin, Heaven, Hell and repentance are quite few.
And the number of born-again Christians actually evangelizing are also quite few. Out of about a billion people on this planet who call themselves Christians, roughly about 65% actually question the inspiration of the Bible and think that the accounts contained in it, including those of Christ Himself, are just stories, not true accounts of history.
What we must believe is that we are God’s creations, His creatures, created in His image, for one reason – to show God through us.
We were put on this earth for one reason, and one reason alone. God didn’t call us to all be pastors, but He did call all Christians to be ministers – evangelists.
In the fourth chapter of John, we find the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus asks her for a drink, and after a theological discussion, Jesus tells her to get her husband. She tells him that she has no husband, Jesus tells her that she’s correct, that she’s had five husbands, and that she’s shacking up with potential number six.
She was so surprised at the accuracy of Christ’s statement that she was convicted of her sin, and proceeded to “go and tell of this man to told her of everything she did.”
She was the first evangelist. She did what we all should do, use what God has done for us – that’s being an evangelist!
Every one of us is an ambassador for Christ, and every one of us in that capacity, is a farmhand, to harvest souls for Jesus. I know that it’s not easy sometimes, and that it can put you in uncomfortable situations.
Think of the situations that Jesus was in, or the disciples, or Paul, or Titus, or Timothy. Every one of them, with the exception of disciple John, died for their faith – John was exiled to the prison island of Patmos, where under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gave us the book of Revelation.
Every one of these men planted the seeds of our faith, watered them, tended them, and was able to reap great harvests, and bring the Gospel to areas that never heard it before.
In fact, Paul was the Pharisee of Pharisees. He stood there holding the cloaks of those stoning Stephen for evangelizing. He was known as Saul then – and he was known for murdering Christians – until he had that Damascus road experience. After that, God prepared him in Arabia for three years, and instead of ministering to Jews, he ministered to Gentiles!
Imagine that, the Jew of Jews ministering the Gospel to those he looked down on the most, not converts, but Gentiles – and making converts out of them. What a harvest!
God has a way of using anyone to farm His fields. Sometimes, it’s as easy as having a conversation with another person, and sometimes, it’s takes some specialized knowledge. God will always provide the path you need to open the doors of evangelism to another person.
I can tell you from firsthand experience that a Jew converting to Christianity is seen as one who committed treason against Judaism. Entire families have turned against the person who converted. That person loses friends and in many circumstances, careers, if it was the family business. It’s a lot like the Amish when one of their own steps out into the English world – they’re shunned. Paul and his followers were shunned by the entire Jewish community.
It happens today – and it’s why it’s so tough to witness and convert a Jewish person. In many cases, that person faces a tough decision.
Same goes for a Muslim.
You’ve got to know how to reach these people. For example, you can’t go to a devoutly Jewish follower with the New Testament or Isaiah 53. They don’t believe in the inspiration of the New Testament, and they have a completely different interpretation of Isaiah 53. The book of Zechariah has better resources for this job of “farming” – there’s a lot of prophecy of ha’ Mashiach – the Messiah, and it lines up with the life of Jesus very accurately.
It’s what got me. People tried to use John, and even Matthew – the gospel written for the Jew. It was Zechariah that got me.
One thing you need to remember, God will never force anyone to love Him. People need to come to Him willingly. You plant the seeds through your evangelism, and if they’re receptive, tend to them, teaching them as needed. If they’re not receptive right away, they may not be ready – and that’s okay, God may have someone else lined up to farm this field.
The point is, Christians in general, are not doing their jobs as farmers. Pastors of churches are, in many cases, more worried about programs and finances, than in winning souls. Every sermon should have a message, however subtle or blatant, of salvation, and every church service should be ending with an altar call.
Why? You never know who’s sitting in that service. There are people who’ve gone to church their entire lives but have never turned their lives over to Jesus.
I know a person who went to church since they were a kid, but it took a message by Jack Van Impe to get them on their knees in tears. They turned their life over to Jesus that very day.
Pastors, elders and other church leaders need to be in a position to evangelize – to plant and tend the crop and when ready, reap the harvest. Every pastor, every elder, every Christian! Jesus said “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” We need to pray that the Lord sends out laborers into His harvest.
So, are you ready to get farming? Jesus is requiring you to do so. It’s part of His great commission in Matthew 29:19-20:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
So farmer, let’s get to work making disciples. God will be with you all the way, and lead you to the divine appointments He has for you.