The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few
35 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. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
One of the most important foundational Truths to remember as we press on along this road of redemption is that God is the healer of all things, nothing is beyond His capabilities. He reaches to the very cellular level and can miraculously transform a heart, a condition or a disease. He desires restoration, not separation; inclusion, not exclusion.
Most of Matthew 9 is devoted to this fact, and this passage is no different. Verse 35 he traveled the lands teaching in synagogues, proclaiming the gospel, healing “every” disease and affliction.
He worked in the trenches of life, seeing great crowds of helpless and hurting people and “he had compassion for them“. He did not stand in judgment of the blind and broken, but instead his heart and healing hands reached out to them.
We are called to do the same thing!
But we can only give away what we ourselves have received. And we only receive healing, health, life and purpose when we place our entire being upon the shoulders of the Lord.
When God is what matters above all else, and our gaze is fixed upon His glory and we become purposed to serving His greatest good only then will the byproduct of our life become fruit.
When we truly chase after God, go deeper in His word to learn who He is, draw deeper into His community through the church to be encouraged by and to support others, one can’t help but be transformed. To walk with a renewed heart that seeks out opportunity to share the healing hand of God with others is to truly be alive for the first time. To point other broken & lost souls toward the only one that can truly heal. Jesus.
Our advice means nothing, our thoughts of what we “think” someone should or shouldn’t be doing are pointless if not filled with the heart of Christ. We can only pray for the intercession of Christ into the lives of those we love (which should be EVERYONE); pray that his grace, mercy and purpose will fill not only our lives but the lives of those around us, and when and where He chooses, use us in the process.
We are the hands and heart of Christ, but only if we ourselves are filled with the convictions and boldness of the Holy Spirit. You will know when you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. Your life looks different, feels different, is different.
For some it was gradual, but for others you can point to a specific time in your life when you were self-centered, caring only about your needs, wallowing in your own pain and then Christ redeemed you and your eyes shifted from an inward view that could only see indignation and hurt caused by others to a purpose-filled heart that increasingly cares more about the needs of others around you instead of holding on to past garbage.
All of a sudden the plight of the homeless and the oppressed come in to view. You start to recognize the lady pushing the shopping cart, or the child who should be in school but instead is sitting on a street corner, or the person holding a sign. Your prayer life takes on new meaning, your desire to connect with others grows from a place deep within. It is that place where the Holy Spirit indwells the heart of a true Christian.
Christianity is not just a profession, it is an action. It is a response filled life that is consumed with gratitude for the acts of a Savior that did the impossible, which is to bridge the gap between us and God. There is nothing of this earth capable of washing us clean so that God can look upon us, nor one that can remove the shame that allows us to look upon Him. Jesus is that bridge, He is our only atonement and to take our eyes off of Him for even a moment is to abandon that bridge for other paths that lead to nowhere but disappointment and pain.
When our heart truly is fixed on helping others, tossing someone money out a car window is not necessarily the answer. People need connection, validation, hope. We are to pray with them, feed them, listen to them, share with them. To let others know that God has a much greater plan than what they are doing today. We all need the love of Christ in our lives.
None of that is possible however unless we first are in a sincere, heartfelt, intense relationship with the Lord. He must be real, we must know him personally, we must trust Him with our very lives. We must be willing to sacrifice the plan we had for our life so that His higher plans can freely develop within us. We must learn to listen for His direction. Our hearts must be filled with His desires and no longer the desires of the flesh, which only desires prideful selfish things that lead to destruction.
We are to go into the fields and make a difference in God’s planet, among His people, for His purpose alone. We do that at work, at the grocery store, on the freeway, in our homes, churches, sports fields. Every place in every way we can’t help but shine the light of God, because His light is uncontainable.
How is your light shining today?