Lift up your eyes!

John 4:35
..lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

The Lord challenged his disciples to lift up their eyes to have a good look and observe that the time for the great harvest of souls into the kingdom of God is already present. The objective of this exercise in observation was not for the purpose of admiring the view but so that they could actively engage in the work of harvesting.

The Lord had just completed his outreach to a Samaritan woman outside the city of Sychar en route to Galilee from Judea. The story of the Samaritan woman at the well found in John chapter 4 is a masterclass in personal evangelism from the Master Himself. It was an unorthodox kind of outreach. The Lord Jesus crossed social, cultural, religious and political boundaries in order to reach out to this woman because He saw how needy and ready she was. Here was, on the outside, an unlikely candidate yet on the inside, deep within her soul, she was perfectly ripe and ready for the kingdom.

The externally constraining and discouraging circumstances generated by the prevailing socio-political and religious culture of that time had created a deep divide between these two groups of people (Jew and Samaritan) preventing any interaction on any scale taking place let alone personal outreach. But that did not stop the Lord from reaching out to meet her innermost need. He dived in no matter how deep or wide the chasm that existed between them was.

Christ acted differently where the cultural, social and political climate dictated otherwise. He did not determine His outreach based on the externally visible and constraining circumstances generated by the prevailing socioeconomic or political culture but on His knowledge of the season (harvest) and His discernment of her need.

The advent of Christ signalled the beginning of the harvest season for the Kingdom. The Lord had Himself experienced that in a profound manner in His encounter with the Samaritan woman validating His authoritative and unequivocal claim that the fields are white and ready for harvest. According to Him it now was just a matter of lifting one’s eyes and observing. No more waiting for a due season for it has already arrived and everyone of us living in the period after Christ live in the season of harvest. The onus and responsibility is upon us to gather the harvest in our limited lifetime.

However many excuses were presented and encountered by Christ in His outreach to the Samaritan woman, He got through them all because the harvest was indeed ready. He needed to remove every single layer of resistance and rejection one by one in order to uncover and get to the heart of this woman’s needs leading to the harvest of another soul. In turn, she later turned out to be hugely influential in a greater harvest involving her town where she openly shared the good news of of the Messiah (John 4:39).

Have you truly grasped that you and I are living in a season of harvest?

What are you doing about it?

Do you determine your outreach to people based on politically, socially, economically or religiously generated boundaries or do you go beyond to reach the social outcast, the Muslim, the homeless and the affluent?

Indeed, like the Lord Himself declared, the harvest is plenty, but the workers to gather it in are few (Luke 10:2).

The Kingdom is still seeking workers for the harvest to reap fruit for eternal life.

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