Introduction. What Jesus had What Jesus did What Jesus said
Matthew 9: 35 – 38 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on 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 workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
What Jesus HAD. Jesus had COMPASSION. Wilkins says: ‘The crowds continue to be the object of Jesus’ ministry, and the motivating force is His compassion’. Compassion Root -splanchnizomai, ….‘moved in the inward parts’ Why are we told that Jesus had compassion on the crowds?
“Because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” ‘Moses said to the L ORD, “May the L ORD, the God of every human spirit, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the L ORD ’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” Numbers 27: 15 – 17
What Jesus DID. Wilkins states : ‘Jesus sees deeply into the needs of the crowds and has been bringing healing to both body and soul’. ‘Jesus casting out evil spirits and healing diseases of sickness are external validation of the reality of the presence of the kingdom of heaven’.
Two things that strike me about this situation: Firstly Jesus was right in and amongst the crowds: Secondly Jesus was acutely conscious of spiritual warfare: Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus wants to bring hope, life, joy and peace – not to mention healing from sickness.
What Jesus SAID. ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send out workers into His harvest field’. In Jesus day, He was telling His disciples that there was a harvest of people/souls waiting to be reached with the gospel. Is that still true today? I want to shout YES YES YES YES and YES.
The number of Christians in Indonesia has grown from 1.3M forty years ago to over 11M today. That said, of the 76,000 villages in the country, 50,000 are without a church (Operation World). No Christian was officially allowed to live in Nepal until 1960. Now there is a church in every one of the 75 districts of Nepal with estimates of over half a million believers (Operation World). In A.D. 100, there were 360 non-Christians for every true believer. Today the ratio is less than seven to every believer as the Holy Spirit does more than we could ever ask or imagine (Vision 2020). About 500 Muslims come to faith in Christ every month in Iran--a country ranked among the top ten persecutors of Christians in the world. Many of the new believers are young, since 70% of Iran is under the age of 30 (Vision 2020).persecutors of Christians in the world.
Every day, 20,000 Africans come to Christ. Africa was 3% Christian in 1900 and is now over 50% Christian (Vision 2020). In 1900 Korea had no Protestant church and the country was deemed impossible to penetrate. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7000 churches in Seoul alone and several of these churches have over 1,000,000 members (Vision 2020). There are currently 60-80 million Christians in China with between 10,000-25,000 converts a day (Open Doors). China If only 1 out of every 6 believers "reproduced" themselves one time each year, the entire world would be reached for Christ by the year 2020!
Application. ‘So what”. How is this relevant for me? But one thing we have probably ceased to believe is this statement of Jesus to his disciples that the fields are ripe to harvest. Research suggests that just over half the people living in this country that you invite to a church service, or outreach event would come. Have a risk-taking mind-set
Conclusion. Everything Jesus did and said was motivated by COMPASSION. Jesus has compassion on those around you…will you also have compassion for them?