Topic: When the Heart for the Harvest is Lost
Text: John 21:1-17
In the John 4:31-38 passage, the disciples had left Judea, going northwards to Galilee, Samaria was on their way. Along the way they got tired, hungry and thirsty. Even Jesus was tired and sat near the famous Jacob’s well in the town of Sychar. The disciples left Jesus there and dashed to town to grab some food and drinks. They had their fill and brought some for Jesus to eat, only to find him chatting with a woman. They urged him to eat and he told them “I have food to eat that you know not about”. The disciples wandered, did someone bring him food while we were away? Jesus told them, “my meat (food) is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work” (V.34). Though Jesus was tired, hungry and thirsty, the priority of the harvest was his consuming passion. Jesus was sensitive to the mission opportunities around him. May God open the eyes of our hearts to see the great commission opportunities of our time. May God grant us harvest eyes.
In our text today, we see a group of disciples who have experienced the miracle of five loaves and two fishes; the transfiguration, several teaching and parables of the kingdom, the passion, death, resurrection as well as the first and second post resurrection appearances (John 20:19-23). These were leaders who had been sent by Jesus, just as the Father sent him (John 20:21). Men who had been raised to subdue nations and labour in the harvest. Unfortunately, people raised to fish for men, went after fish to eat and to sell to make money. This depicts a loss of the heart for the harvest.
What is responsible for a loss of the harvest heart? Matthew 6:25-33 give us the clue. When a disciple allows the thought of what to eat, wear, drink, who to marry, where to work etc, dominate his or her heart to the detriment of eternal pursuits; this leads to a loss of the heart for the harvest. Moreover when a disciple lacks eyes to see the Great Commission opportunities in their neighborhood, schools, work place, cities, rural communities etc, a heart for the harvest is lost.
What is the Harvest?
The harvest refers to eternal souls already paid for by the life-blood of the only begotten Son of God as an inheritance for the kingdom. They are those who are yet to hear about Jesus, and or haven’t made the decision to accept him as their personal Lord and Savior.
What is taking the place of an ardent pursuit of the harvest of lost and perishing souls in your life? There is a need to identify such things. Decide now to lay them aside. Prioritize the pursuit of the kingdom of God. As Jesus came to Peter and his team, he comes to you today asking “do you love me more than these things that you have allowed to take the place of an ardent pursuit of eternal souls as harvests for the kingdom?”
How is your devotion to the harvest that Jesus paid for with his blood? Would you ask for a restoration of a heart for the harvest? May you experience a heart that burns for lost souls earnestly seeking to reach them with the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Immediate Past Executive Secretary, NEMA & Movement Catalyst for Go-North Initiative