Matthew 9:35-38 and 10:1-8, March 08, 2020
The Harvest, The Twelve and Us
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? Rev 10:5-11 Sweetness & bitterness
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.
10:1-8 The Twelve Sent. The twelve are sent out with instructions that provide insight into the calling we have received as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To see how they apply let’s look at Ephesians 4:11-12a:
). You are the saints who are the ministers of the Gospel. I am not THE MINISTER, we are the ministers. My job, my ministry is to equip you as ministers. We are all called to do the work of the ministry – sharing the Gospel.
Just as Jesus gave the disciples authority to act He/God gives us authority to act and the word authority in the Greek simply means the power to act.
Wherever you are called to minister, God will give you the power to act. Where God guides He provides. Look what Jesus did with His twelve, He did not just send them out to perform all sorts of miracles, but first He gave them authority.
We are called to function in our individual ministries not in the power of the flesh or what we think is best, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave this message to His disciples after His resurrection – wait until after I leave and the Holy Spirit will come to you and give you power to act in Acts1:8
Note the difference here between Acts 1:8 and Matthew 10:5 … The twelve were sent first and foremost only to the Jews. The message of salvation was first to the Jews and then to the rest of the world.
Let’s give some close attention to the last part of the last verse for today Freely you have received; freely give. We should be giving freely, not for some form of profit.
And let’s talk about Grace – grace is unmerited favor. Undeserved favor. Something we did not deserve. Too often we get too comfortable with our salvation. Don’t. You didn’t deserve, I didn’t deserve it. The only reason we have it is because of God’s love. Christ died on the cross for us out of God’s love.