Reading: Matthew 9: 35-38
Verse 38: Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.
Jesus spent most of His three years of formal ministry being out and amongst the people. Our opening line reminds us how Jesus went through all the towns and villages teaching, preaching, and healing. He spent time in the synagogues, but He also spent a great deal of His time outside the walls of the church building. When we think about all of the stories of Jesus that we find in the Gospels, not too many actually take place in the formal church setting. This is our first lesson today.
As Jesus spent time with people, as He saw the crowds, “He had compassion” for the people. Jesus saw the people and their need for a Savior. Matthew writes that they were “harassed and helpless”. We too are called to the last, the least, and the broken. These are the harrassed and helpless of our day. We are called to also offer compassion as we feed, clothe, visit… We are called to offer what we can to those in need. But moreso we are called to share our faith. Verse 36 ends with, “like sheep without a shepherd”. To not know Jesus is to wander through life, bouncing from one thing to another in our search for contentment and satisfaction. Only through knowing Jesus Christ do we find peace and hope in this life. Jesus had compassion on the people, loved on them, and gave them all He had to offer as He served among them. This is our second lesson.
Our passage ends with, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field”. Jesus is encouraging the disciples to go out into the harvest fields. In the very next verse, 10:1, Jesus sends the 12 out to do what He has been doing: to teach, preach, and heal. When I think about my community, I see harvest fields. There are many who do not know the love and grace that Jesus Christ offers. They have never heard the good news. Relatively speaking, yes the workers are few. My prayer is to be sent out into the harvest fields. My hope is to share the faith I profess with others today. May it be so.