Something Important About The Harvest


Everything in scripture is equally true, but everything in scripture is not equally important. That is not trying to take away anything from scripture, but trying to reflect what the Bible teaches about itself. Some issues in the law are more "weighty" (Matt 23:23) than others.  There are "greater" commandments (Matt 22:38). Paul said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Cor. 2:2).

So how do we know if something is really important? One way, among many, is to recognize when something is repeated again and again in a variety of contexts. That is exactly what we see with Jesus' remarks about the harvest and our responsibility to carry out the mission.  He says some version of this 3 times, in 3 different situations. But with the same meaning and implications.  How important is this?

Luke 10:2  "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."

Matt 9:37 "Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” 

John 4:35- in the context of Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman and the disciples question about why he is talking to her rather than worrying about lunch. "31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”