“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
(John 4:35 NASB)



This simple conversation with the disciples comes sandwiched in the middle of the story of the woman at the well. The Samaritan woman was probably the most unlikely candidate to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The words we use to describe her should have written her out of the story. She was a Samaritan -- hated by the Jews -- and she was a woman. This pretty much made her at the lowest rung on the ladder, and yet, this is who Jesus sat down with and chose to converse with on a very personal basis. As a result she became a follower and also went and spread the good news about Jesus to all of those who lived in her village. And in the middle of that incident, Jesus reminds his followers that they are not to make excuses about telling others about him. Don't say that you have to wait until just the perfect moment. Look! People like the Samaritan woman are sitting in front on you on a daily basis. Simply Look! People around you are ready to hear about the Messiah -- you just have to be willing to see them.



I think about the corner of Ohio in which I live. I drive through towns which are simply a shell of themselves. I see church after church which is struggling to survive -- churches from all denominations. I see communities in decline and an increase in complex social issues. What so many need is the hope which is found in the true message of Jesus.

Jesus tried going to the synagogue and sharing the good news about the Messiah. Remember what happened? They tried to throw him off a cliff. He never did find the harvest flocking to the synagogue for worship on Saturdays. Instead, it is in the middle of a story about a sinful woman that Jesus reminds his disciples that the harvest is right in front of them. What would happen in East Ohio, or anywhere for that matter, if we got outside the confines of our church buildings and went and looked for the very least of the very least that needed help. Why do you think the Samaritan woman was at the well at noon? This was the absolute worst time of day to be at the well. It was too hot to be drawing out water. The fact that she was at the well at noon by herself meant that she had been shunned by every other person in her community because of her behavior. She was the worst of the worst -- and yet Jesus said, open your eyes and see this is the harvest which is ripe!

The only way to reach the harvest is to get out into the harvest fields. Jesus' people must be willing to move outside the confines of the church building and out into the world to bring the good news. Yesterday was about bringing the light of Jesus into the world. Jesus knew that this would be what the world needed both then and now. Look! There is a harvest out there -- there are plenty of people that need to know Jesus Christ! Look! Pray, and then join Jesus out in the harvest fields, reaping that which we didn't even have to sow. The time is now and there are people waiting, even today, at a well, in the middle of the day, hoping that Jesus will come by and give them the gift of salvation. Look!



Lord, may I look today at the world around me and share your news with those who are in need. Amen.


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