Monday, December 27, 2021
35-38 Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”
-Matthew 9:35-38 The Message
Verse 35: Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.
Verse 35 study: The Messiah had a long-waited promising moment for the gospel of the kingdom, meaning that his miracles were a sign that his teachings were true.
Verse 36: Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.
Verse 36 study: Ezekiel compared Israel to sheep without a shepherd found in Ezekiel 34:5-6. Jesus went there to be the shepherd, the One who could show others how to avoid life difficulties (John 10:14).
Verse 37: Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Verse 38: Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Verses 35-38 studies: One thing Jesus needed was workers who knew how to deal with people’s problems. We have all been helped with our problems by God and his laborers, so we can show comfort and point them the right way. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
Verses 37-38 studies: Jesus took one look at the crowds following him and referred to them as fields ripe for harvest. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone shows them. Jesus commands us to pray that people respond to this need for workers. When we pray for something, God answers us by using us. Be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way to him.
Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14
Matthew 14:14; 15:32; Mark 6:34; 8:2; Numbers 27:17, Ezekiel 34:5; Zechariah 10:2; Mark 6:34
Father, from the way this sounds, this is going further than just praying for co-workers or a family member. This is about praying for those you call to do the work to help bring people closer to you. I pray today that we can do that. Give us the wisdom, the encouragement we need to do it. Everybody will have that call, and it is not a scary call to do. Yes, it is nerve-racking, but not frightening because the approach doesn’t allow it to be. Let us be ready for your call. In Jesus’ name. Amen.