After Jesus has spoken with the woman at the well, his disciples return from their journey into town with food for him. But he is not tired nor hungry anymore.
Instead he begins to speak to them about the food he eats, and then about the harvest that is ready to be reaped.
You’re probably wondering why there is a video of a caterpillar at the top of this page. Yes, it’s a very cool looking caterpillar. But there is much significance in finding this particular caterpillar.
You see, this is the second one of these I have almost trodden on in the last couple of weeks! The first I found on a pavement outside St Marks Church in Farnborough. This is that particular caterpillar.
The one in the video at the top of the page I found on the path at the edge of Queens Parade whilst walking from Aldershot to Farnborough. My youngest, Micah, called me just after I’d found it and asked if I could play football with him at Queens Parade. As I was there I said yes. I kept the caterpillar on a leaf to show him when he arrived. He then insisted that we kept the caterpillar as a pet! I know….. So we worked out a safe way to get it home and then found out what they eat. They eat birch, lime,and hop leaves. There aren’t exactly a lot of those where we live. But thankfully they also eat oak leaves, and those we could do!
These caterpillars are Pale Tussock Moth caterpillars. Their nickname though is hop dog. And this is the significant part.
The name hop dog came into being because these caterpillars are found in abundance by people harvesting hops. So there is a strong link between them and harvest. Both times I have come across one of these hop dogs, it has been at a time when Father has wanted to encourage me that we are reaping the harvest of what has been sown.
And I can see that. I can see the people working the fields and collecting the harvest. I can see it, not just in the Spirit but in front of me physically too.
So why did I title this Will You Let Jesus number 9, and not Harvest?
It’s because I see the connection between Jesus sitting and waiting for the one, and him talking to his disciples about harvest. My last post was an encouragement that as we see Jesus sitting and waiting, so we too must learn to wait for the one. The one is key to reaching others. The one is the key to the harvest, as they return to their sphere of influence and say “Come see a man….”
Jesus is doing something very real through those who will wait for the one. This waiting is the prelude to the harvest. It is not a passive waiting, but it is a fully alive Jesus himself in us waiting to meet the one.
Only a short while after leaving the well, the woman returns to Jesus with the rest of the people from her town. She came alone. She left transformed. She returns connected. Even as Jesus is speaking to his disciples and encouraging them to lift up their eyes to see the harvest, perhaps they can see the people from the town on their way? Do you and I see the people on their way to meet Jesus? We must.
Back to Hop Dog. So we found oak leaves, and we found an old ice cream tub, put plenty of holes in the lid for ventilation, and put Hop Dog in for the night. Do you know what we found this morning? Hop Dog had already begun spinning his chrysalis on one of the leaves. He is already preparing for transformation into the next phase of his life, to fly as a moth.
Not only do I see the harvest, but I’m seeing people who are preparing for, and those who have started their process of transformation. Harvest is not just about bringing in the numbers. It is about people meeting Jesus and those people being transformed through Christ in them. The harvest is one part. True discipleship, the revealing of Christ in each one, is where it’s at.
I want to encourage you that for those who are willing to wait where Jesus is waiting, there is harvest aplenty. You might see only the one. But there are more on the way. And this harvest is about radical inner transformation of those who receive the gift of the Father, Jesus himself, and who will be conscious of Christ in them.
Eat the Living Bread, drink the Living Water.