The Christian is a Farmer
The Apostle Paul uses several analogies when addressing Timothy, the young evangelist. The first was the Christian as a soldier. The second analogy was that of an athlete. The last is about a farmer. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. (2 Timothy 2:1-7 NKJV)
Some of Jesus’ earliest teachings were illustrated by an imminent harvest and the need for workers. Following Jesus’ discussion with the Samaritan woman by the well, the disciples were concerned that Jesus had not eaten. His response equated His work to food. He also taught the souls of men were a harvest, and the disciples were to be the laborers sent out to reap that harvest for their Lord. Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. (John 4:34-36 NKJV)
The parable of the sower also follows this analogy. In the parable, the seed is the word of God. The various soils are the hearts of men. The same produced a variety of results. It was not that the seed was defective, rather the hearts of many are either hardened, shallow or too burdened to have an interest in the Word of God. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. “And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. “But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. “But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:3-9 NKJV) Abundance is desired but quality is God’s primary concern.
In Timothy’s case, diligent labor would ensure that he would participate in the eternal reward. The farmer gets to enjoy the first fruits of every growing season before sending the harvest to storage or to market. Harvests are expected considering the effort required to cultivate, to plant and to tend crops. And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, “and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. “But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29 NKJV) Souls are the fruits of God’s harvest. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:17-18 NKJV)
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2 NKJV) The fields remain white for harvest. Reap for the Lord.