The Harvest is Ready

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” [1]

As this week began, we started with emphasizing the first part of this text, speaking about the fact that the Lord had been preaching and proclaiming the gospel and healing every disease and every affliction.  Then, he looked at the crowds and had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus’ passion for the needs of the crowds caused him to ask his disciples to pray for workers to go out into the harvest. Christ’s workers gain courage from his assertion that the harvest is plentiful. The hurting people whom he saw and whom we see all around us are like fruit ripe for the picking. Christians today seem to view non-Christians with fear, but Jesus saw them with compassion. And so should we. If we hold out the truth—Jesus himself—they will come to him, for they hunger for guidance.

The workers are few, said Jesus as he turned from the distressed masses to the dozen men around him. Our job is to pray fervently for more people to come and help, as we are moving boldly to be involved with the harvest.

 

The harvest is truly ripe.  In John four, Jesus said, do not say there are four months and then comes the harvest, but lift up your eyes and see the harvest at hand.  Those non-Christians all around us should not be looked upon with fear, but with compassion.  So, here is my recommendation as we end this week from Matthew chapter nine: Let’s get out into the crowds where the harvest is located.  If we look around in the worship service tomorrow morning and wonder where the workers are to go out, why not start the ball rolling by going ourselves and asking others to come with us?  We know the command from Christ himself for us is, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  This is a prayer that is dead center in the will of God, and one we should be expecting an answer to.  Are we ready?


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mt 9:35–38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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