Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
The words of Jesus in Matthew 9:37 should give us a gentle nudge this morning.
My take away is that Jesus is referring to the harvest of souls.
As a child I remember singing the words to the hymn… “Far and Near the Fields are Teeming…” I didn’t get what it really meant as I stood on those old wooden floor boards lifting my voice in praise along with the throng of other worshippers. But the words were beautiful then as they are now. I could visualize the fields with ripened grain gleaming golden in the autumn sun. Never could I have imagined how God would use even me to be a tool in His hand to bring others to Christ years and years later. All glory to God for this.
And the beauty of these words is that Jesus will use anyone willing to be part of that harvest to bring in the sheaves, to influence lives for Christ. As He says Himself, the harvest is indeed plentiful, but the workers are few.
I have to ask myself why there are so few workers in God’s vineyard?
Matthew 9:36 tells us that Jesus saw the multitudes of people and had compassion for them. The people were confused and wandering, without good shepherds or leaders. ‘
Perhaps that is why we fear being part of the harvest. Not everyone makes a good leader. Or so we think. Without God helping us, we never will be good leaders. But it is amazing to see what God can do through anyone who is willing and whom God calls.
We are not all called to be leaders, either. However, as we bow the knee in humble submission to our Jesus, He can use us in different capacities to impact others for His Kingdom. All it takes is a willing heart and a compassionate heart at that.
We should care that multitudes may hunger for Christ but do not know how to enter His Kingdom. Men perish for lack of knowledge. Many are searching, but also need to be led to Christ. Perhaps few people feel equipped to answer that call either to be a reaper.
We are all capable of sharing the good news of the gospel with others in some form or another. Perhaps it is by offering care to the hurting and homeless. Maybe it involves reaching out to a neighbour who is searching for answers in life. It could be in a line at the Super Market that God calls you to share the good news of His saving grace with someone searching to hear.
Let us take every opportunity to witness to others and to be compassionate towards those lost in sin. Let us not grow weary in doing good.
I missed an opportunity to witness at a wedding recently. Someone told me they “had lost all their energy since they had been sick with Covid.” I explained how my husband had been hospitalized for a week with Covid a few years ago as well. What I failed to share was how my grasping for wisdom from God in prayer gave us the answers we needed. I look back and I shake my head that I didn’t include that. I know it is God who gave His grace for healing. So now I will make it my aim to ask God to help me be a more willing witness wherever I go. Sure, I share the good news in my comfort zones, but what about getting out of my little sphere of comfort?
At the end of Chapter 9 of Matthew, in verse 38, Jesus gives us much guidance. We are to pray to the LORD, who brings the harvest to send out labourers into His field. We can all be labourers to help others who are broken and hurting and searching for Christ. Even if it is our own family or extended family that is lost in sin, we need to be willing to share the saving grace we have if we “believe in Jesus Christ.”
Many of us feel unworthy, or unwilling, or unsure. Give it to Jesus and ask for His help to be a labourer in His harvest fields, at whatever level He calls you to do that. I will do the same. We aren’t all called to be pastors of missionaries, but we can all take part in the harvest of souls, if we are willing.
Let us pray for compassion and mercy to reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ and God will help us bloom where we are planted as He brings in the harvest of souls. May we care deeply about that labour?