By Mike Bickley, Lead Pastor at Olathe Bible Church, Olathe, Kansas
Lord, thank you for the life-changing power of your Word. Help me to obey your Word, so that my ways may please you and lead others to you.
“My food,” Jesus said to them, “is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do. You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!”
My wife swears I am blind. I often stand in front of the refrigerator looking for something and can’t find it. So, I call out to her. She comes over, moves one little thing, and there it is. My leftover sandwich from Subway! She says I could stand in front of the refrigerator forever, staring at it, but wouldn’t see the sandwich! It never fails – I miss what I’m looking for though it’s on the shelf right in front of me!
Sometimes we struggle to see the very thing that should be the most obvious. That isn’t just true of a visit to the refrigerator. It is true of our mission to reach a lost and hurting world.
In John 4, Jesus teaches his disciples that the very people they want to find
– those who want and need the Messiah – are everywhere, even in Samaria. This was the place where some Jewish people had mixed their religion with pagan Gentile religions. This religious “cocktail” was greatly offensive to Jews like Jesus’s disciples, creating a major cultural division.
So, as the disciples travel through Samaria, they aren’t looking for opportunities to see what God can do. They are just passing through. They can’t see what is right in front of them – souls ready to be harvested. They are blinded by their religious expectations and prejudices. They are looking for “prepared” Jews. They cannot see that God has been working to prepare “rejected” Samaritans.
Can you see the fields that are ready for harvest where you live and work and play? Can you see God at work in people and places you may have written off? Have you already decided which of your family members and friends and team-mates and co-workers “aren’t interested” in the gospel? Could it be that the very thing you long for is right before your eyes?
Open your eyes! Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!
What person in your reach do you believe has the least interest in God? This week, pray for them by name. Consider engaging them by simply asking, “Do you see God at work in our world or your life in any way?”
Father, open my eyes to see all the people you are already drawing to yourself. And help me not to let my expectations and prejudices get in the way of your work.