Sitting in a mountain field as a new believer, I read words that altered the course of my life. “When He saw the multitudes…He said to His disciples ‘Truly the harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:37, 38). At that moment I knew that the Lord was calling me to leave our beautiful mountain home—far from the rat race of the city—and re-enter society as a laborer amidst a harvest field of lost people.
End of the Age Harvest
What is on God’s heart as history careens toward the climax of this age? I believe that the first thing on His heart is the lost condition of His human children everywhere. Yeshua speaks elsewhere about the harvest, using this image to describe the end of the age (Matthew 13:39). The Lord declares that He “…desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The Messiah was sent to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). And we are likewise sent by Him, just as He was sent into the world by the Father (John 20:21; 1 John 4:17).
The unfathomable breadth and depth of God’s heart for mankind—for every living soul—is what brought His Son to this earth. Yet His saving activity continues through us as His messengers, His agents. Can we begin to identify with the intensity of God’s longing for every man, woman and child on every continent to come to Him, to be forgiven, to be born into His kingdom, to be adopted? To be gathered together into his “barn” as ripened, harvested wheat?
Inextricably connected with God’s passion for the harvest, is His heart to unite all of us together in Messiah (Ephesians 1:10). Listen to one of Yeshua’s last prayers. In it He links our capacity to make Him known (sowing seed unto harvest) with our Heaven-granted brotherhood. He prayed “…the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one. I in them and you in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me” (John 17:22,23).
Is there a key to this brotherhood that God is so intent on establishing? Several. But for me, a prime example of restored brotherhood is the account of Jacob meeting his brother Esau. Some 20 years had passed since Jacob deceived his father and stole Esau’s first son blessing. Now a repentant Jacob bows seven times before Esau. That was an act of faith and a gesture of true humility. Jacob, using a posture of servant-hood rather than defense, demonstrated with eloquence beyond words, that he was serious about restoring true brotherhood.
In Psalm 133 the psalmist likens our brotherhood to the priestly anointing and to eternal blessing. I believe that restored brotherhood by means of Messiah’s shed blood is at the top of God’s last days agenda. He wants to show the world HIS peace plan, HIS remedy for war and oppression.
May these twin passions of our Father—the Harvest and Brotherhood—motivate us and guide our priorities as we consider how to live in the last days.