He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Lk. 10:2 NIV
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Jesus Christ had sent out seventy-two people in pairs as advanced party to go into every town and place where he planned to visit, telling them that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few and praying that the Lord of Harvest will send workers into His vineyard – Lk. 10:1-2.
Letting them know that they were being sent out like lambs among sheep (Lk. 10:3), they were to proceed with the following guidelines;
1. They were not to take purse, bag or sandals – Lk. 10:4a. This will mean that they should not allow the thought of material acquisition to create distractions on that mission, as they should have faith that He that is sending them out is capable of taking care of their needs – Phil. 4:19.
2. They were not to greet anyone on the road. This is a warning for them to avoid street talk and gossips. Any unfruitful discussion should be avoided and focus should always be about kingdom discussions – 1Tim. 5:13.
3. They were to pronounce Peace into every home they enter with the belief that, the existence of someone of peace in that home will allow for the pronounced peace to rest, else their peace return to them – Rom. 12:18. They were to stay there if someone of peace exists there, eating and drinking whatever they are given, for the worker deserves his wages. Although they are to wish peace at all times, they are not to expect that everyone desire peace. Only people of peace will accept the offer of peace.
4. They should not move from house to house. They must remain credible and not be seen as constantly drifting from one opinion to the other. They should be consistent in their views.
5. Once welcomed into a home, they should eat all that is offered with no reservation. They should be appreciative of every gesture received and receive it with joy, contentment and thanksgiving – 1Tim. 4:4.
6. They should heal the sick in every place they settle in whilst telling them of the closeness of the kingdom of heaven. The aim should be to provide healing (physical, emotional and spiritual) and preach the message of the kingdom in a single package – Mk. 16:15-18.
They should however expect to be rejected by some people in some places. In such circumstances, they are to gently turn away from such locations but not before letting them know the danger of such rejection. In reacting to this rejection, he advised that they physically distance themselves from such people. They are better off living on the streets than living in such homes – Psa. 84:10. Let those who refuse your message of peace, hope and salvation know the repercussion of such refusals when the judgement of God arrives.
There is however some very salient points to note about this mission which are:
1. The potential harvest is more than the harvesters. This should let all who are involved in this harvest know that there is a lot of work to be done. It is key for all to constantly pray that the Lord of harvest should send more harvesters into his vineyard. This is a way of seeking the support of the Almighty God on this great mission because it is your harvest, that will turn out to be the new harvesters, that will support the task of harvesting, just as you were once a harvest of somebody. There is no room for laziness and indolence on this beat. There can never be the situation where there is nothing to show as harvest, unless the person is lazy and unfaithful – Matt. 25:14-30. Any harvester who does not come with a harvest definitely did not work at all or did not work hard enough.
2. Harvesters must be conscious of the fact that they are lambs in the midst of wolves. In trying to gather harvests, the harvesters need to be aware of the danger posed by the spiritual wolves – 2Cor. 2:11. The Bible says the devil is roaring all over the place looking for whom to devour – 1Pet. 5:8.
Christians must realise that the reason they were called is to be harvesters of souls. They were also harvested by some people and they are to in turn harvest others. That is the only way that the prayer that God should send more harvesters into his vineyard will be answered. A Christian that has not won or is not winning souls will be a failed Christian. The sole purpose of your life after becoming saved will be to win souls into his kingdom, not only by words, but by deeds – Matt. 5:16. Failure in this task cannot be attributed to lack of souls to win as there are so many lost souls waiting to be brought back.
For the Christian who is deeply involved in this divine task, there is the need to be aware of the activities of the devil aimed at destroying all efforts at harvesting souls into the kingdom of God. The harvesting Christian should be aware that he/she is fishing in the same waters that contains sharks. These sharks can include personal challenges and human limitations that will work against successful harvest and they are indeed numerous. Remaining alert at all times will ensure that such a Christian is not a victim in the course of implementing this great commission. That is when he/she can return with harvest and not be harvested by the devil.
May God empower us sufficiently to return safely with our bountiful harvest of souls in Jesus name. Amen.