S (Scripture): Matthew 9:35
Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
O (Observation): Greg Carey, Professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary, in Lancaster, PA, writes this on WorkingPreacher.org:
“Where the realm of heaven is breaking out, we find healing and liberation.”
What a great way to encapsulate healing and preaching by Jesus. Jesus brings the Kingdom with him; indeed, He is the King.
Teaching in the synagogues showed that he brought authority with his words. Healing showed that he could restore people. As He preached good news, this set people free.
And Jesus was not going to do this work alone. He saw the work that needed to be done and wished send out harvesters.
“When the realm of heaven is near, healing and liberation take place. In the disciples the church finds itself cast into the world, taking Jesus’ message beyond his instructions into surprising new contexts.”
A (Application): Jesus shows the disciples what needs to be done and calls on God to prepare harvesters. As the Gospel continues, Jesus equips and sends the twelve to do his work. They will in turn disciple others, and that pattern has followed for millennia.
And the cause is not about increasing numbers, but is about compassion.
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
We can assist Jesus by sharing a message of hope and release.
How are you playing the role of a harvester? Where does compassion drive you this day?
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to know your compassion to inspire us to do your will, to be your workers in your Kingdom. Amen.