Matthew 9:35-38 – “Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful’” (Matt. 9:37 NIV). The world is big. The crowds are huge. The number of spiritually lost and dying people is overwhelming. Not only was the harvest of people vast as Jesus looked upon it, but those people brought tears to his eyes. All those people, then and now, matter to him. Make no mistake about it: Jesus loves people. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them” (Matt. 9:36 NIV). The word used for compassion is the strongest word for pity in the Greek language. It describes the love that moves a person to the depths of their being. It is the type of love that moves people to cry for others.
Jesus described the crowd as being “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36 NIV). Harassed meant that they were defeated by life. The toils and struggles had punched them in the stomach too many times. They are down for the final count. Ready to quit. Helpless meant they were broken and without purpose. They were wandering aimlessly. People without hope, without meaning, without a reason for living. Sheep are dumb animals. They simply put their heads down and follow the sheep in front of them. If a guide or leader does not exist they will simply wander and wander and wander until they destroy themselves.
We can share our story. The great sin of the church is the sin of silence. People often say, “I’ll let my life be my witness.” (By the way, if you are saying that, how’s that going? How many people have come to Christ because they watched your life?) We have taken the Great Commission and made it into the great omission. A subtle false teaching says we can be evangelical without being evangelistic. It has us believe that we go to church rather than we go into the world.
I hope that your heart will be stirred to make a difference in the harvest. You see, when we begin to see people as Jesus saw people it makes all the difference in the world. When we see people as Jesus saw people it will cause us to take responsibility, to pray, to go, and to tell about Jesus.
Can we do more when it comes to bringing in the harvest of souls?
Dr Rick Ezell