One day Jesus looked at the people that were coming His way and here’s what He said to His disciples (Matthew 9:36-38):
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 we expect Jesus to say is ‘Look at the harvest… get to work!’ Instead Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Look at the harvest… pray!’ This is a very important idea for us who want to be ON Mission for Jesus. The Kingdom of Heaven advancing in the hearts of people on Earth is God’s work that He involves us in. The Kingdom work is not our work that we involved God in! Since it is entirely His work, we must ask Him for more workers to get the job done.
I’m not a farmer, but by observation it seems clear that bringing in the harvest is hard work. There is a short harvest season and when it’s time to bring it in, it’s not time for a vacation. During the harvest it is ‘all hands on deck!’ (to mix the metaphor). This is the illustration that Jesus uses with His disciples. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask God to send out more workers. Jesus’ teaching shows us that
- There is a plentiful harvest! There are many people who need the grace and love of God in their lives. There are many who need salvation.
- It will take work to bring in this harvest. Being ON Mission will require concerted effort on our part.
- There are few workers. We pray for more workers because there are not enough to meet the great need. The harvest is plentiful!
To be ON Mission means to pray. The Mission is the Lord’s, so as workers for Him we ask Him for more workers. Prayer is a vital part of the Mission. At my church we’ve been praying for workers at 9:38am (or pm). Individually we’ve set alarms on our phones or computers to go off at that time (a reference to Matthew 9:38) and we pray!
Praying first ON Mission makes it clear that this is God’s Kingdom. It also reminds me that I cannot do this Kingdom work alone! None of us can. We need God and we need each other. While I cannot do all the work, I can do some! I can be a servant in Jesus’ Kingdom.
Imagine if every Christ-follower in the world was asking God for more workers for His harvest field. The world would be a different place! Jesus is looking for people to change the world.
Previous posts in this series: