Jesus, speaking about the harvest – the readiness of people to hear and receive the Gospel of the Kingdom – said to His disciples, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He would send workers into the harvest fields” (Luke 10:1-2). An interesting situation if you think about it.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'”
He is speaking to His immediate group of followers. It seems Jesus always had a “multitude” following Him. But, the majority followed Him for what they could receive from Him. A healing, food, a great teaching. Others followed Him because He was the current new kid on the block and the latest thing to hit the religious scene. Very few followed Him because of who He was (the Messiah) and what He represented (the Kingdom).
He says to His committed disciples that they are to pray for labourers. So, really, it would seem that He is asking them to pray that they would go into the harvest fields willingly and tell others about Him. After all, these were the committed ones. The ones who understood and followed Him for who He was. So, He is asking them to pray that the Lord of the Harvest would ‘kick butt’ and move them into the harvest fields. That they would see the importance of the season they were in (harvest time) and see and understand that each person was precious and needed to be personally brought into the Kingdom (harvested) through the message of repentance and the Kingdom.
This is a parallel situation to the day and season we are living in. Many people are hungry for a new reality. They are empty on the inside in spite of their current level of prosperity and comfort. They are searching for meaning because they live a somewhat meaningless life of getting up, going to work, coming home, sleep, get up and go back to work. And, in the world situation of one terror attack after another they are searching for something or someone to give them hope. So, the harvest field is ripe and ready and we are in need of believers who will leave their comfort zones and move out into their neighbourhood and town or city and tell others of the King and the Kingdom.
We need to be praying that the Lord of the harvest would “kick butt” and send us – the committed ones – into the harvest field as labourers and not observers. It is time that true followers of Jesus allowed Jesus to “make you a fisher of men” (Matthew 4:19). It is time for us to see the times and seasons we are living in and, like the sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32), know what we ought to do to touch lives that are desperate for hope, purpose, and meaning in life.
I firmly believe that in most nations the Christians are too comfortable and need to be shaken out of their lethargy and complacency. That we need to remove the mental and emotional “fog of materialism” and see the reality of a life without hope and a life without Jesus. Christians who are thinking of security and safety need to see that the Scriptures do not promise the believer these luxuries. We need to see the challenge Jesus has given us to ‘go into the harvest fields (the world) and make disciples’ (Matthew 28:18-20). And, we need to respond to that challenge immediately. There is a serious sense of urgency as we see the world in such a mess and the people living without hope and, sometimes, without meaning.
Will you become one of these labourers in the harvest field? Will you leave the safety and comfort of your life (and church) and join the others who are leaving for the harvest fields? Will you rethink your life and the values you have built that life on and move forward into the challenge to win the world for Jesus? Your neighbours are waiting.