The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
I grew up in West Virginia – out in the country – farms were all over the place. Towards the end of the summer and into the fall we would drive by acres and acres of corn and through apple orchards. When the harvest was ripe it was a beautiful site – fruit on the trees and corn on the stalk. Harvest season meant food, fresh fruit and vegetables, and income for the farmers. There were festivals and parties around this time of year! So, when I read Luke 10 I find it interesting that Jesus would choose to use harvest to describe the cities he was sending the disciples to.
When you think about what was happening in the world at this time it didn’t seem very bright. Israel was under Roman rule – they weren’t free. There were great divisions among the people. The Jews wanted nothing to do with the Samaritans. The Pharisees wanted nothing to do with anyone that didn’t look like them or live like them, all those sinners needed to stay away. The very people Jesus was talking to had decided to leave jobs and family to come follow Him. If we lived in that time we would probably describe it as hopeless or at the very least broken and chaotic. But, Jesus saw a great harvest and was looking for people to go work in the fields.
Jesus looked into the cities of Israel and didn’t see the bad, instead He saw the opportunity. He saw acres and acres of corn and apple orchards full of apples! He saw fruit! What He was looking at wasn’t hopeless or broken. It was beautiful and ready to yield a great crop. So, He sent His disciples out into the field to gather it in and find more people to help them.
Knowing that is how Jesus viewed what was right in front of Him 2,000 years ago gives me great confidence in how He looks at us today. When God looks into our world and into our lives He doesn’t see a lost cause, He sees a harvest – a great harvest. He sees opportunity, He sees life. Don’t ever look at the world around you as dead and gone. Don’t ever look at your life and view it as a lost cause. Those are lies. Jesus looks at us and says now there is a great harvest and with a little work can yield some amazing fruit. The harvest is great!
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.