Reflection from my reading in Matthew 9:18-38 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Compassion Fuels Passion
“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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35–36
If you notice here, Jesus’ compassion was the driving force behind his effort. It wasn’t his desire for a big ministry or to look good for others. His compassion fueled his passion!
Without Jesus People Are…
Harassed – People are confused and troubled by worry, depression, lies and attacks from the enemy.
Helpless – This term in the original greek can also mean to be thrown down. Picture a fight when a small child or woman is thrown down violently on the ground by a larger man. The result is someone dejected and alone lying on the ground with no hope. This is what people are like without Jesus.
Like Sheep Without A Shepherd – Without Jesus, people are like a sheep without a shepherd lost in the middle of the wilderness. They don’t have any purpose or direction for their lives. They are vulnerable to any attack. Ultimately, they are doomed without the protection of the Shepherd.
Jesus did something about it!
This should motivate us to do something to be a part of God’s harvest. I love that before the description of Jesus’ compassion it actually shows us the example of Jesus actively traveling around preaching the good news, healing, and giving people hope. Along with doing our part in spreading the good news, Jesus gives us something we all can do to be a part of this great harvest!
How to Get More Harvesters
“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37–38
Here’s the principle, The problem is not the lack of harvest but lack of harvesters!
Jesus’ solution to this problem is to pray earnestly, or to literally beg or plead with God to send more workers into the field. And when you pray this, be ready to be an answer to your own prayers and harvest yourself!
Imagine all the harassed, helpless people who would be saved if we all took a few moments a day and prayed that God would raise up more workers for his great harvest?
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