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Labourers Of The Harvest

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages [see Bible Places], teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:35-38 KJV)

Labourers Of The Harvest

Harvest The original Greek word translated as "labourers" in the verses above is pronounced er-gat-ace and means someone who works, or toils. The word used by Jesus Christ as "labourers" in "labourers into His harvest," that is, teachers of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, is precisely the same word used in other verses for literal workers, e.g. "the labourers who have reaped down your fields" (James 5:4 KJV). Those of the early church well understood the analogy, and addressed themselves as "fellowlabourers":

"Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers." (Philemon 1:24 KJV)

"And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the Gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith" (1 Thessalonians 3:2 KJV)

"And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life." (Philippians 4:3 KJV)

They knew and accepted that the eventual harvest is all that matters, the accumulative result of their God-assigned individual labours over time:

"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." (1 Corinthians 3:5-9 KJV)

One of the greatest ironies of the Bible is that those who wrote what became the Holy Scriptures themselves reached relatively very few people in their time (using modern technology, God's servants today can reach more people in all the world in an hour than the apostles could reach locally in a month, and God's servants today can effectively reach and retain more people in a month than the apostles could reach in many lifetimes). Their writings have of course been read by hundreds of millions of people over the centuries, but what they wrote was not of themselves, it was not their personal philosophy - it was the Timeless Word of God as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit of God. Just as they were united and consistent among themselves back then, so too today God's servants remain true and faithful to the original Gospel, which is the only true Gospel that there will ever be, and to those who were given to write it.

"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 KJV)

Jesus cautioned His servants back then that their fellowlabourers who would come later would receive the same reward as those who began work very early in the day.

"For the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard."

"And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise."

"And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?"

"They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us."

"He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive."

"So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first."

"And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day."

"But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"

"So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." (Matthew 20:1-16 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will God's harvests (plural) of humanity happen?
See Seasons Of The Harvest and When Will You Be Judged?

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