Matthew 9:37-38, “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
It was truly an embarrassing moment when I drove down a one-way street the wrong way. Somehow I failed to see the sign, and therefore the oncoming traffic served as a clear and visible sign that I was heading in the wrong direction, and that I needed to flow with the traffic not against it. Perhaps you’ve not had an experience like this in the natural, but it seems that some believers manifest going the wrong way when it comes to “driving” their prayers up a one-way street against the flow of God’s will. Many are praying for revival, instead of praying in line with God’s will.
In this passage Jesus is looking out among the multitude of people, and compassion begins to well up within Him for they harassed, helpless, confused, aimless, like sheep without a Shepherd. Furthermore they were bullied, oppressed; and in the face of such problems, they are “helpless,” unable to rescue themselves or escape their tormentors. This scene that Jesus looked at broke His heart, as He was burdened for these people. The crux of the problem wasn’t the condition of the shepherd-less sheep, but the scarcity of laborers. Even sheep that have a shepherd have problems, but they have a shepherd present to help them deal with their problems. Christians have the Shepherd in their lives, but the unsaved are like sheep without a Shepherd to save their soul on Judgment Day from Hell.
Jesus’ focus was on the harvest as His metaphor then changed from sheep farming to harvest (v. 37), as Jesus sought to awaken similar compassion in His disciples. He wanted their eyes to see what he saw, for their hearts to feel what he felt, and for their minds to come to the conclusion that His mind came to. Jesus called for a prayer rally on this issue. He wanted harmony on this prayer point (Mt. 18:20), hence all praying for this. This prayer issue needs the resolve of the persistent widow (Luke 8), showing us that we should pray and never give up, especially praying for what Christ told us to pray for. The judge in that story was reluctant to answer the widows persistent request, but God doesn’t deal with us in this manner, but delights to hear His bride, His chosen ones, His body, His church cry day and night unto Him (Luke 18:7). People are God’s love language. How does the church get a heart for the lost, and God’s will (heart) for laborers?
Who do you know that isn’t saved, family member, friend, co-worker, etc…. Now imagine them in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. To think of their fate should cause your heart to feel what Jesus felt looking at those people. He knew that He was the Divine Shepherd they needed and without Him they would perish on the Day of Judgment. Laborers would need to go to them for the crop will be plentiful; many people will be ready to be “reaped” into the kingdom. Luke (10:3) writes of this account but adds that Jesus said, “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” He told them not only to pray, but also to GO thus beginning to answer the very prayer they were to pray. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” A.W. Pink said, “It is true that [many] are praying for worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and trust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival.”
Application: Look at the shepherd-less (the unsaved) both those you know and the stranger and see them through Christ’s eyes. By compassion PRAY and GO, they need you NOW! Blessings Pastor Phil