*Apologies for not capturing the audio of Angi’s sharing her missionary trip to Costa Rica and Honduras. Many accepted Christ – and many recommitted. Angi listened to God’s call to go out into the field…..
Matthew 9:27-38, March 01, 2020
Healing and Missionary Message
Review: 9:18-26 Twelve and Twelve. Matthew gives these two miracles only 9 verses, while both Mark (5:22-43) with 22 verses and Luke (8:41-56) with 16 verses provide much more detail. Matthew quickly focuses on the faith of the woman who is healed and the faith of the girl’s father so that his daughter might live. In Matthew the daughter is already dead, but in both Mark and Luke she dies as Jesus comes to Jarius’ home because He stopped to address the healing of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Why did He stop to ask who touched His robe?
9:27-31 Faith of the blind. When Jesus left Jarius’ house after raising his daughter from the dead, two blind men called out to Jesus calling Him ‘Son of David’ which was a messianic title, thus they had faith in Jesus as the Messiah or the Christ. The blind men followed Jesus … how did they follow Him? Once again the emphasis is on faith. Did He need to touch their eyes to restore their sight? Note this event only occurs in Matthew.
9:32-34 Driven out. Next a demon possessed mute man was brought to Jesus. We are not told how Jesus drove out the demon, but He did and the people were amazed. But the Pharisees accused Him of being the prince of demons (Luke 11:15) where Jesus replied in the very next verse with one of His most famous statements Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. For whatever reason Matthew does not record this defense.
9:35-36 Compassion of Jesus. The statement they were like sheep without a shepherd is taken from Numbers 27:15-17 where Moses is asking God to provide someone to lead them so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus saw the need, felt compassion and was moved by His compassion and acted on it as shown in the next two verses. All too often we also see the need and even feel compassion, but do not act upon it as Jesus did.
9:37-38 The Harvest and Our Missionary Duty. Immediately after reading of Jesus compassion we read one of the Great Missionary Passages of the New Testament. Laborers are needed for a great spiritual harvest! The NIV says Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field while the NKJV says Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. This is a prayer Jesus commands us to pray, so it should be on our lips daily. Pray it often enough and you will be sent within your own community!
It is possible to pray regularly for the salvation of a loved one, of a neighbor, of a friend, or of a fellow worker and let our concern stop with our prayer … and let our concern stop with our prayer. But if and when we earnestly pray for the Lord to send someone to those unsaved people, we cannot help becoming open to being that someone ourselves. John MacArthur
Jesus said The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. I don’t know about you, but I hear a plea from Jesus here for us to be involved in the harvest. Will you be a worker, will you be involved? You KNOW plenty of people who are unsaved. Will you first of all pray for them? Not just once but day after day? Will you invite them to church or a Bible study? Not just once but time and time again … and in as loving and kindly a manner as possible.
Will you be a worker for the harvest for Jesus? Will you really care for others?
Why are we having the harvest?
From Revelations 10:5-11:
5 Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’[a]” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”
and from Ezekiel 2-3:11
2 He said to me, “Son of man,[a] stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.”2 As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
3 He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.”
The message of God is sweet if you respond to it, but it is bitter if you do not !!
Do we care that the people around us are going to hell, going to eternal torment, going to eternal separation from God? Do we care?
Why are we having the harvest? Because Jesus wants more people to be saved. If we care then we will be as Paul says 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. 2 Corinthians 2
There is the sweet good news of Christ, for those who will hear it and choose it – eternal life. But the other choice is a literal hell for those who refuse it – eternal death.