When the Sower Overtakes the Reaper

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

John 4:31-38 and Amos 9:13


Introduction: There is an interesting text tucked away in Amos 9:13. It talks about a time of abundant fruitfulness and harvest. The Lord Jesus refers to this text when he seeks to shake his disciples from their spiritual dullness and lift up their eyes on the harvest fields.

Evangelism is telling people about Christ. It is not making them feel better about themselves as they await hell.

1. The Context of Evangelism (4:4-26)

The Lord makes it plain to the woman of Samaria that the issue is one of regeneration, not denomination.

2. The Consequence of Evangelism (4:27-30)

Fruit begets more fruit. Perhaps this is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:10. As the result of one bona fide conversion nearly the whole town is coming out to see Jesus.

3. The Concern for Evangelism (4:31-34)

A new mission field has opened. A great many from the town are beating a path to Jesus. A great harvest is walking their way . . .and what is on the mind of the disciples? Food! Is it possible that evangelism has taken a back seat to more important issues in our lives?

4. The Cooperation in Evangelism (4:35-38)

One sows, another waters, and God gives the increase. In America - and other lands - the seed has been sown for many years. The sower ought to be overtaking the reaper with so much abundant yield that it becomes a perpetual and bountiful harvest.

What could possibly be the problem? Why is this not the experience in our field? Perhaps there is a shortage of laborers.

5. The Command to Evangelize (Matthew 9:36-38)

The Lord is not pleading for planters. He is pleading for harvesters. Why is it everyone wants to sow a little seed but relatively few want to bring in the harvest?

A farmer knows that when the field is ready for harvest then there is only one thing he needs to do. If he fails to do it while there is time then it will simply rot in the field. Wake up! It's harvest time.

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