32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” – John 4;32 NLT
The disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in the natural to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes between 7 and 8 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:5-9 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul continues to teach that it is the message, the Good News, that is important. Paul and Apollos are only servants of Jesus Christ carrying out His command to “go and make disciples”. It is also a message to us that each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise that gift and use it to further God’s work and His Kingdom here on earth. We are all members of one body and each of us has a part in the Kingdom and the church. We will be rewarded in heaven for the works that we do here on earth. But if we refuse to use the gift that God has given us to benefit the body, then the whole body is injured and unable to function in the way God has planned for His church. He will call someone else to fill that position and we will lose our earthly blessing and our heavenly reward for that particular task. We are co-workers, planting and teaching, but God is the One who gives the increase. We are responsible for being and doing, we are not responsible for the results. That is God’s part and He will not fail.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)