Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

2nd Sunday After New Sunday

Sermon / Homily on John 4:31-38

The Vast Ripe Harvest

Scripture: John 4:31-38


We learned about "The Spirit Dependent life" in this year's Church Camp and in our recent Thru-the-Bible (TTB) series. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. In other words, Christ literally lives in us through His Spirit (GAL 2:20). Therefore, the desire "to seek and save that which is lost" (LUK 19:10) is in every genuine Christian. May every Gospeliter be a missionary - wherever he is.

We have also learned that the "harvest truly is plenteous" (MAT 9:37). This revelation is so contrary to what we see in the faces of the people around us, and in the results of evangelism around us, that Jesus emphasizes this fact with the word "truly" and repeats this truth, word for word on another occasion (LUK 10:2).

We have also learned that the main problem in evangelism is not the receptivity of hearers nor the shortage of labourers but the need for the labourers to be "sent forth" (MAT 9:38) by "the Lord of the harvest" (ie, the Holy Spirit). The desire to assemble together with other believers to enjoy the worship, fellowship, comfort and safety is so great that only the Holy Spirit can thrust us into evangelism (read ACT 8: 1-4).

Lift up your eyes and look on the fields:

In today's Scripture passage, Jesus tells His disciples that the satisfaction of doing the will of God is far greater than the satisfaction of a good meal upon an empty stomach (vs.31-34). His disciples fail to understand Him -just as most of us still fail to understand this vital truth. Jesus had to tell His disciples to lift up their eyes from the meal that was before them and look away from it (v.3 5). We too are so concerned with our physical "comforts" that we fail to realize that "exciting" things are happening all around us. Jesus' disciples were not completely neglectful of their spiritual duties but are so engrossed by lesser things that they delay doing what is necessary. Therefore, Jesus tells them "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest" (v.35). Similarly, genuine Christians are aware of their spiritual responsibilities but are so engrossed with physical pursuits that they keep on delaying doing them. Jesus tells His disciples that the harvest is ripe for harvesting (v.35).

He repeats this truth in MAT 9:37 and LUK 10:2. Some pioneering missionaries are called to the "sowing ministry" (eg. Hudson Taylor, William Carey, Adoniram Judson) but most of us are just sent to harvest the ripened souls of men! This truth of the harvest should thrill our souls! Today, let's lift up our eyes and look on the fields beginning with our "Jerusalem" (ACT 1: 8)

Our Jerusalem:

For almost every Gospeliter there are many unsaved family members and loved ones. Our visitation ministry is beginning to see the reality of the "Jerusalem" harvest.

Our Judaea:

Every student has forty classmates and the average person comes into regular contact with approximately 100 people.

Our Samaria:

There are over 100,000 Filipinos, over 100,000 Indonesians and over 100,000 Malaysians in our country. The "world" has literally appeared at our doorstep and these foreigners are not in Singapore by chance!

The uttermost parts of the earth: Less than an hour by boat from Singapore are 700,000 people (mostly migrants) in Batam. An hour by air away is Java with almost 100,000,000 people - whom we have discovered to be "open" to the Gospel. An hour by air away is East Malaysia - whose citizens we have also discovered to be very open to the Gospel, And all these 200,600,000 Indonesians and Malaysians share the same National Language with us!

China took the giant step of opening itself to the world markets by joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). The greatest migration in human history is anticipated to take place in the next ten years in China - as over 100,000,000 economically displaced peasants from the countryside flood into the cities to look for work. Several Christian organizations believe this will be the greatest evangelistic opportunity in human history - and are already preparing to reach these cities in anticipation of this human-flood. The doors of China's state schools are open to well-trained English teachers. These teachers can often find the opportunity to share the Gospel with their students on a personal basis - and many of these students are receptive to the Gospel. These students are the best hope to reach the displaced peasants, that will flood into their cities. Therefore, we need to pray about starting an institute to train English-speakers (especially Singaporeans and Filipinos) to be qualified to teach English in China's state schools and in other developing countries.


We are commanded to "teach all nations" (MAT 28:19) " unto the uttermost part of the earth" (ACT 1:8). We do not need to wait for a call from God to go where the harvest is ripest and the Lord of the harvest is most actively working. On the contrary, we need a clear call from God to be absent from such a place. Are you in Singapore because you have such a call??

Every member a missionary in the place where he should be.

Source:; Sermon preached at Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore on 15 September 2002

See Also:

More Sermons and Bible Commentaries on Lectionary Passage for 2nd Sunday after New Sunday

Sermons Home | General Sermons and Essays | Articles | eBooks | Our Faith | Prayers | Library - Home | Baselios Church Home

Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2020 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio