The ‘Reaper’ Strain

by Lester Young

Do you know what Jesus wants you to do?  If you’re a Christian, I’m sure you’ve heard at one time or another that God has in store a specific path for you to walk, and that’s very true (Ephesians 2:10).  We each have a calling that’s unique to us, and that particular path is where our Blessing is, because it’s God’s perfect will for us.  But, regardless of the individual ‘occupation’ each of us is supposed to be busying ourselves with, there’s another more general, more fundamental – though certainly no less important – job we’re all supposed to be doing.  (And I bet most of you never even dreamed you’d go into farmin’…)

Now, yes, we’re all called to “go into all the world, and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15), whether from the pulpit, the street corner, or just by the way we live our everyday lives.  But right now I’m talking about what the Lord Jesus commanded us to do in John 4:38.  There, He said, “I sent you to reap…”  He was telling His disciples that it’s harvest time, and those ripe crops needed to be brought in – now! (Mark 4:35)  Why else would He hire people and send them to reap?

Hire?  Yes, hire – that is, if you want the job.  Check out Matthew 20:1-16, where Jesus told the parable of the householder who was continually looking for workers to go out and reap his vineyard.  He wouldn’t be bent on hiring so many people if his field wasn’t huge, the mature fruit it produced humongous, and the payoff season upon him.  (And note, Jesus began that parable by saying, “The Kingdom is like this!”)

Now, go to Revelation 14:14-16, where the Apostle John wrote of his vision: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel…crying with a loud voice to him…’Thrust in your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for you to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’  And he…thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.”  Okay now, if you think that’s Jesus sitting on the cloud with the sickle in His hand, think again.  Better yet, look at Revelation 19:11-13, which is a very graphic description of Jesus coming out of Heaven: “His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on His head [were] many crowns;…and His Name is called The Word of God.”  That Son of man on the cloud is representative of a human being – you and me, as the Body of Christ.  We each have a [single] crown, because we’re kings and priests – a royal priesthood (Revelation 1:6, 5:10; 1 Peter 2:9).  But Jesus, as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, wears many crowns! (Revelation 19:12, 16)

Okay, then, so what are we supposed to be reaping?  Well, refer again to Revelation 14:15: “For the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  Of course, first and foremost, that means a rich harvest of souls coming into God’s Kingdom.  But that is by no means all, and we shouldn’t stop there.  In fact, we mustn’t stop there, because the earth also produces goods, things that are necessary in our life here.  Jesus said, “For the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.  But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he [man] puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:28-29).  Oddly enough, Jesus started that parable the same way He did the other: “The Kingdom works like this” (Mark 4:26).

After all, that’s how we get paid.  Paid??  Yes, paid!  Jesus specifically stated so, in John 4:36: “And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit unto life eternal…”  If that’s not enough for you, consider the answer given to Peter when he asked Him, “What’re we going to get out of all this, for following you fully?” (Matthew 19:27)  The Lord told him in no uncertain terms, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:29-30; Matthew 19:28-29; Mark 10:29-30).

So, stop worrying about this economy down here.  Need a job?  He’s hiring – and He’s paying very, very well!

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