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Labourers Of The Harvest
by Wayne Blank
Labourers Of The 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)
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."