The Harvest is Plentiful
Matthew 9:18-38 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples.
20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
23 When Jesus came into the official’s house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, 24 He said, “Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him. 25 But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26 This news spread throughout all that land.
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!” 31 But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land.
32 As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33 After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
In light of the circumstances and situation in our nation, our society and culture, I suppose there are many words that could describe how many of us as believers feel about the world. Frustration, disbelief, anger are a few words that come to mind that seem to describe the feelings of many. In today’s text it says: Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” When we see people, do we like Jesus, feel compassion for them? In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says: “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Surely the circumstances in our nation right now afford us a great opportunity to do what Jesus Himself said and did. Our compassion for sinners does not mean that we compromise with sin. Instead, like Jesus we call sinners to repent.
Matthew 13:36-43 says: “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” As believers we need to recognize that this is a great time of harvest. At the end of the age all that has been sown, both the good seed of God’s word and the deceit of the “evil one” will come to maturity. Knowing the outcome for those who are the harvest of the enemy’s deceit, we should look at them with compassion. Even though they may be against us, we should love them and pray for them. We should pray for all of those who are working for the Lord’s harvest.
Look again at what it says: Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Look also at Mark 16:15-20: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Again, knowing the outcome for those who disbelieve, we should be compassionate. We should also be diligent to preach the gospel. If we will be faithful, Jesus will work with us and confirm the word with signs and wonders.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore I beseech You to send out workers into the harvest. I beseech You to send me. May I always have a heart of compassion for the world, but may I never compromise with the world. May I love and pray for those who persecute me, even as You did on the cross, saying Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing. Amen.