Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’
Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV)
Read: Matthew 9:27-38
Consider: Jesus made it clear to his disciples that there is no shortage of people in need of the good news of the gospel. Jesus wasn’t just talking about the need while he was on earth, but the human need of forgiveness and salvation that applies to each generation. We might think that our generation is more rebellious and wicked than any generation that has gone before, but that would be an incorrect assumption. You only have to read the Old Testament, or any history book and you will see that each generation has its share of wickedness. Even in the New Testament Paul identified many aspects of life that were sinful and most of these we can readily identify in society today.
The harvest is indeed plentiful in our generation and the workers are few. Most people reading the verses from Matthew 9 will be thinking of the workers as those in full-time ministry. Maybe this is the reason why there are so few workers. If we only think of the harvest workers as being those in ministry, we will miss out on our calling to share the gospel wherever we find ourselves. The harvest for you might be in your social circle, your workplace or your family. In John 4:35 Jesus said: ‘Don’t you have a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest’. So ask God to open your eyes to the opportunities to share the good news wherever you are.
In sharing the good news we only have to play our part. We may be privileged to see people responding to God’s call, or we may be sowing seed on already prepared ground. Paul recognised this when he said: ‘I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow’ (1 Corinthians 3:6). In reality we may never know what part we have played in a person’s salvation.
While some people are reluctant to get involved in sharing the gospel, others grow tired and give up. They may be discouraged by indifference, or put off by rejection. In Galatians 6:9 we can be encouraged by these words: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’.
Pray: Father, give us a burden for the lost and a willingness to share the good news of the gospel wherever we are. Open our eyes to the opportunities and enable us to play our part. May we be faithful to you and not grow weary of doing good. Amen