In Matthew 9 Jesus tells His disciples about the need for workers to go out in to the harvest field. It says…
Matthew 9:35-38 NLT – Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
In this passage three things jump out at me as I read it.
1. Jesus modelled what His workers should do
We see that Jesus travelled around the region preaching, teaching and healing. He went to where the people were and met their needs, He even healed their diseases. This echoes Matthew 4:23-25. For me this shows me that we need to be out in our towns and regions doing the work that Jesus did. Jesus gave us a great example.
2. Jesus had compassion on the crowds
We see in the Gospels that Jesus always had compassion for the people where He saw large crowds. I verse 36 He likened them to sheep without a shepherd. We see in the Bible (see Ezekiel 34) God describes His people as sheep and that He wants to be their Shepherd. For us today we need to introduce people to our Shepherd Jesus. The one who cares for us, feeds us and binds up our wounds.
3. Jesus asks us to pray for workers
Jesus finishes the passage with a need and a request. He says the harvest of people is huge, but there are not many workers to bring it in. He then asks us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers. Many times when we pray for a need we find that God softens our hearts and then calls us to help. So when you pray, be prepared that God may call you.
Reading this passage afresh today has reminded me of the great harvest of people out there who need to meet Jesus. It also reminded me of what we need to do. We need to follow Jesus’ example and be out there preaching, teaching and healing. We also have to pray for workers to bring in the harvest with the compassion of Jesus.
As a School Chaplain and previously a Pastor you get asked lots of questions. I have had questions about heaven, hell, the Bible, Jesus, salvation, the Holy Spirit and more.
Often the questions are easily answered and people are happy with the answer. Sometimes they are a bit more tricky and take some real thought or research before I get back to the person.
One of my favourite resources that I often refer to is GotQuestions.org. They have nearly 700,000 answers to questions and many have short videos to explain them.
Sometimes I will watch their video and do more research or sometimes I just send a link to the person who asked the question. Most times people are happy with a short video and that answers their question.
Jesus was often accused of being friends with sinners and outcastes by the religious leaders of His day. They could not understand why a man who claimed to be a religious leader would possibly have time for people that were considered sinners or outcastes by the religious “elite” of society.
Jesus loved all people and as He travelled around with His disciples, He made connections with people that most “religious” people would avoid while walking down the street. The thing I love about Jesus’ interactions with the people most considered sinners or outcastes is, they didn’t stay that way for long. After spending time with Jesus, they knew there was a better way. The Bible is full of stories of people who turned their lives around after an encounter with Jesus. Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritan woman at the well to name a few.
Why did Jesus take the time to do this? Luke 19:10 tells us this very clearly. It says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Jesus mission was, and still is, to seek and save the lost. Today He uses you and me to do this. We are His hands, His feet, and His mouthpiece to tell people just how much He loves them.
My heart is to not be like the “religious elite” of Jesus’ day, but to be a normal every day guy who loves people and points them to Jesus. Maybe instead of walking the dusty roads of Palestine, we sit at a desk in an office and share our faith when the opportunity arises, or we drive long distances to visit with people who need a listening ear, or we talk with our neighbours over the side fence?
However we do it, we just need to remember that our mission is to continue Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost.
Dear Jesus, thank You that You came to seek and save the lost. Thank You that You found me. I pray that I will be able to continue Your mission. I pray You will show me people who need You. I pray You will give me a love for them and give me the right words to say when I speak to them. Use me to seek and save the lost. I ask this in Your name, Amen.
John 4:39 NLT – Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”
I really like the story from John 4 where Jesus talks to Samaritan woman. He told her about her life and “everything she had ever done”. Then she went back to her village to invite people to see Jesus. The story goes on to say that many people believed in Jesus because of her invite.
There is great power in the invite. Who can you invite to meet Jesus today?