Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. – Matthew 9:37
The text states that Jesus had gone throughout the region of His hometown and performed numerous miracles among the people. As He traveled among the locals, He observed that they were weary, scattered, and appeared as lost sheep without a shepherd, which caused Him to be moved with great compassion for them. After making this observation, He spoke to His disciples and told them that the harvest was truly ready for harvesting, but the laborers were few. He told them to pray to God the Father to send laborers into His harvest.
We have to ask ourselves a direct yet simple question this morning, “Am I towing the line or riding the pine?” Of course, I refer to our being directly involved in the harvesting of souls for God’s kingdom. When Jesus gave the Great Commission to the disciples prior to his ascension, it was given to all of them not just the 11 apostles. He instructed them (as taken from Matthew, Mark, and Luke) to (1) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Mt 28:19-20), (2) Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15), and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Jesus intended for all of His followers then to be his messengers of His Good News of salvation and to take the Message of love and hope in Him to the nations after they had received the Holy Spirit and filled with His power to do all these things. If Jesus intended all His believers at that time to carry the Gospel to all people, then He expects His followers of today to Go forth and do likewise. The truth of Jesus’ day is still the same in our day. The world is full of weary, scattered, and shepherdl-ess people in dire need of salvation. The laborers are still few in number. As the world’s population ever increases, there is a continual need for more and more true Christians to stand up and boldly proclaim the Good News to this dying world headed for hell.
Again, look deep into your heart, as I do mine, and ask yourself if you’ve ever in your life witnessed to even one person. How can we be so selfish as to hoard the greatest gift, the sin-atoning, life-giving, sickness-healing, soul-changing blood of Jesus, to ourselves? His blood saved us from the same sin-entangled world that others now live in and into which will be born. The Bible clearly states that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. It also states that whoever believes on Jesus would not perish but have eternal life with God. It doesn’t say He died for a specific set of people or a set amount of people. God’s will is that none should perish but ALL come to repentance. Ezekiel quoted God as saying that He doesn’t delight in the death of the wicked, so God is not some masochistic God, who sends evil people to hell for fun and wants to watch them roast for eternity. He loved THE WORLD! That’s everyone!!!
So again, why are we not stepping out in faith under the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit to make known the Good News to this dying world? Paul sums up the whole of it in Romans 10:14-15. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace [and] who bring glad tidings of good things!” You have “beautiful feet” if you proclaim (the real definition of preaching) the Good News (gospel) of peace and bring glad tidings (good news) of good things!!! In other words, people like to hear good news! Therefore, GO and PREACH the GOOD NEWS to EVERY PERSON, as Jesus commands in the Great Commission. It’s time to get off the pine and get in the game!!!
Father, I’ve prayed and prayed for more laborers to be sent into the field to harvest lost souls for Your kingdom. I’ve not done enough myself. I don’t carry any guilt or shame over it, but I sense deep within me the same broken-heartedness You had for Your people that I do for mine. I see the weary, scattered, shepherd-less people in the world, who desperately need to find You and Your salvation! Help me to be a greater witness of Your truth of love, hope, and mercy. Help me to equip others in the work of soul harvesting. I pray for the members of my congregation and encourage them to step up and reach out more to the lost of this wicked world. Satan has blinded the eyes of hapless souls for too long. By Your Spirit, help us to make a HUGE dent in the tally of souls bound for hell in our region. May a Great Awakening in my country occur because a few souls stepped into the breach and interceded in prayer and personal witnessing out of love for You and their fellow man. In Jesus’ name, Amen.