Rejoice Together – part 2

So that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together.Jesus of Nazareth, The Gospel of John

It has been my experience that the emphasis of this verse is on the “reaping”—the gleaning of the fruit, ​corresponding to the​ practice in​ ministry of looking for opportunities to “bring people to Christ”.* In my previous post​,​ I highlighted that “reaping” wasn’t the only activity mentioned by Jesus in this moment. In fact, he seemed to put reaping in its place alongside the need for sowing or other activities for proper farming – or spiritual growth.

The analogy that Jesus is drawing here relates to what is needed in the whole process of the spiritual journey to Jesus the Christ. In the last post I made my observation, in this one I want to ask several questions.

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Rejoice Together

Green Barley Field

“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Jesus of Nazareth, The Gospel of John

The primary grain staples of 1st Century AD Israel were barley and wheat – used to make bread – an important part of the Jewish gastronomical and spiritual culture. Commonly, in that region, the seeds were sown between the months of November and January, then tilled or hoed into the ground to allow to grow and to protect them from scavengers. Beginning about early April the barley fields would begin to be harvested which would last through May when at the end of that month the wheat harvest would be reaped. When first planted the ground would obviously be brown or clay in color, then as the plants grew to their largest size they would be green, and finally as they would ripe in the full sun their color would change to a light gold or cream color. Altogether about an eight-month period of time for both grains.

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