Monday, October 3, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 9:35-38

"Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."" -Matthew 9:35-38

Who is this command spoken to?

Spoken to the disciples, this is a command that is for every disciple of Christ.

What does this command require?

Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

What truths do we learn through this command?

Through this command, we lean much about God's heart. This command originates from the phrase: "He was moved with compassion". Think about it: Jesus was moved with compassion. He cared for these people. He didn't just see a crowd, He saw weary and scattered people that needed a shepherd. So when we read this command, understand that it comes from God's compassion.

We also learn that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. There are lost people everywhere. There are hundreds of people without Christ within just a few miles from where you live. You have the gospel message that can save them. You have been given grace and the ministry of pleading with the lost to be reconciled to God. This is important: If you are a Christian, you are a laborer. You have a part in God's harvest.

The command here is to pray for God to send out laborers into His harvest. I think we learn something valuable about prayer here. Prayer aligns our will with God's will. In Jesus' model prayer, He commanded us to pray "Your will be done." So when Jesus commands us to pray for God to send out laborers into the harvest, we begin to see the needs that Jesus sees. We begin to see the lost as multitudes weary and scattered without a shepherd. We begin to think about how we can fill the need.

What are the consequences for disobeying this command?

failure to pray, failure to see the world as God sees it, no participation in the harvest.

"O God, send out laborers into the harvest, and help me to lead the pack."

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