After we cultivate interest with ongoing Bible studies, a time will come to reap a harvest of spiritual resolutions that culminate in the unique decision to be baptized. Full-grown wheat does not bless anyone unless someone intentionally reaps the harvest. In the same way, we are counseled to make personal and public appeals to those studying Bible truth, urging them to follow Christ and the light that has been revealed to them.
In John 4, the story of the Samaritan woman continues. After her encounter with Jesus, she goes back to her city and calls people to come and “see a Man who told me all things that I ever did” (John 4:29). While the newest Samaritan disciple is in the process of bringing people to Jesus, the other disciples are more fixated on their gastronomic needs (v. 31). Christ uses the topic of food to emphasize His appetite to do the will of God in winning souls for the kingdom of God. His concerns are cosmological issues between heaven and earth instead of mere bread!
As the Samaritans are walking toward them, Jesus instructs the disciples, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest” (v. 35). He proclaims that these Samaritans are ready to make a decision for God. Christ then explains that some have done the beginning work of sowing, while others have done the end work of reaping. In the end, this group of Samaritans believe, saying, “For we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (v. 42).
Jesus is looking for laborers in the harvest field—those who will lead others to make decisions to follow Christ and Bible truth. Crops do not harvest themselves. The reason many people don’t make spiritual decisions isn’t that they aren’t ready but that we often fail to ask for decisions. Calls for spiritual decisions are not just made publicly—they can also be made in one-on-one and small-group settings.
Too often, today’s disciples have the same fixations as Christ’s initial disciples. While amazing spiritual and evangelistic activities are happening, some disciples are just wanting to eat food and appeal to God with their mundane requests. As the Samaritan mission was launching and having a missiological domino effect throughout Samaria, the disciples were preoccupied with food. Though God, in His wonderful mercy, does provide food, shelter, and “all these things,” our food should be to do the “will of Him who sent [Jesus], and to finish His work.”