ODJ: Faith in the Fields

April 13, 2017 

READ: Matthew 9:35-38 

The harvest is great, but the workers are few (v.37).

One day as I drove by a vineyard located several miles from my house, I noticed a sign that read: “Fieldworkers needed”. For just a moment I imagined myself hard at work, standing between rows of vines with the sun on my neck and sweat on my face. I could almost smell the fruit ripening in the summer heat and feel myself snapping clusters of grapes from beneath broad leaves.

My brief longing to be a part of a harvest reminded me of Jesus’ words, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Jesus wasn’t talking about grapes. He was talking about people—Spirit-ripened people who were ready to receive the gift of eternal life but needed to hear how to do so (John 4:36).

I wonder if the disciples truly understood what Jesus meant by “the harvest is great”. Did they know that they would be meeting plenty of people who would respond to their message? Their time in the fields would yield a massive, bountiful harvest of changed lives.

As for the problem of so few workers, Jesus’ answer was simple. Pray. Instead of asking His followers to take too much work on themselves, He urged them to ask “the Lord who is in charge of the harvest . . . to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:38). Even while they worked for His kingdom, Jesus wanted them to rest in God’s sovereignty and provision.

We aren’t responsible for whether or not the people we witness to receive Jesus as their Saviour. They may reject the gift God offers. As we go out into the fields, however, we can remember that the One in charge of the harvest has equipped and empowered us by His Spirit to be His witnesses.

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan: 1 Kings 3:1-15

Read John 15:5 to see how believers depend on Jesus as “the vine”. Consider Galatians 6:9 and Psalm 126:5-6 when you experience difficulty while doing God’s work. 
In Matthew 10:7-14, Jesus urged His disciples to tell people about Him for “the Kingdom of Heaven is near”. As His modern-day disciples, what can we learn from His words?