Matthew 9:35–38, John 4:34–38, 1 Corinthians 3:5–11
For a culture that is generally separated from the people and land that provide its food, the imagery of harvest can be hard to grasp. Many of us drive by hay, alfalfa, and cornfields. We have no idea when the crop is ready, but the farmers do. One thing that could be a similar situation would be investments.
Through our retirement plans or other investments (such as homes), we “grow” our money. However, in reality, the growth of those investments largely relies on the work of others. Homes can be the only exception, yet the value of the home is often deeply affected by the surrounding area (location, location, location). So, even with all the remodels, you are reliant on others.
All the money managers are outweighed by the number of their customers. In other words, there are few working to grow the investments that many of our retirement and dreams for our children (and grandchildren) are based. The laborers are few. The interesting part of this is that many (with reason) perceive that these money managers are not actually “earning” value, yet we all yet still look to them to grow what we have entrusted them with.
The underlying reality is that God is constantly seeding the world with the Word. God uses people to do so. Relatively, there are very few that know Jesus and the Word. In other words, not much has changed. Even in the “great” American-Christian Era, those that truly know Jesus were outnumbered. The harvest (the world) is huge, and there are relatively few workers.
We are all called to labor in the harvest. We may gather little, for where we have gathered few have sown. Or we may gather much because where we are was well-tended by those before us. We truly do not know who was before us, or what they did to labor for God. We are to do our best. The harvest was happening before we were born, is happening now, and will continue to happen after we are gone (depending on when Jesus returns, of course).
We are both workers and the harvest. This is the symmetry of the reproduction of faith.
1) Who are you working within their faith journey? Who is working with you?
2) Why is the discussion regarding Apollos and Paul important? What are your takeaways?
3) Jesus says we know when to harvest. Have you ever harvested too early? What happened?