Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
C - THE TWELVE DISCIPLES ARE SENT OUT TO PREACH AND SERVE
(MATTHEW 9:35 - 11:1)

1. The Great Compassion of Christ
(Matthew 9:35-38)
35Then Jesus went about the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.36But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.37Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.38Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Ezekiel34:5; Mark6:34; Luke10:2)


Jesus went about the villages and the cities with His disciples teaching and preaching. He searched for the lost, for those who were hungering for righteousness, for the ignorant and the superficial, even among the teachers to win them to the kingdom of His love. He entered houses, called out in streets, taught in synagogues and spoke to individuals. He seized every opportunity to spread His gospel into the minds of people and to explain the Old Testament in the light of His new covenant. He did not retreat before malicious questions, but overcame the cunning with the wisdom of His Spirit. He made known the good news of His salvation and called every body into the kingdom of heaven, making known His Father’s will which was manifest in His powerful work. With His wonderful miracles, He proved the truth of His call, that even the ignorant could understand that God’s authority on earth appeared with Christ, and that God’s love and truth was incarnate before anyone had received spiritual sight. A multitude of people felt the beginning of a new age and gathered around Jesus.
Christ suffered a lot in His mind, for He saw disease and it’s cause, the sinful life, the ignorance, the economical destruction and the colonial injustice. Jesus was especially sorry at the weak faith, its communion with worldly thoughts, the interference of pride, the demon-possession and the reign of death over all. Christ did not keep away from sinners, nor hate the agitator as some boastful poets and philosophers do. He looked at them as a mother looks at her sick children and was moved with compassion for them. This is why He left heaven, died on the cross and makes intercession for us. Christ’s compassion is the essence of His heart.
God loves us, even though we are poor and lost in this world, like a scattered herd that is being savagely attacked by wolves, as if we have no shepherd. But Christ is the Good Shepherd who looks after you, sees you in your distress, suffers with you and hurries to help you. Jesus has explained to His disciples the condition of the people as a ripe field that is ready for harvest. The distress was so severe upon the nation that a hunger grew in many souls for righteousness, discipline and fulfillment, and the world became ready for sowing the gospel. The violent quakes and floods in our days shake people and wake them from their negligence. As tranquility disappears multitudes become confused. Jesus calls such conditions the most suitable opportunity for a spiritual harvest. We actually find in our age deep shocks and moral disturbances sweeping our nation, right and left, overturning our civilization and bringing our security to an end. Thus, time ripens for the divine harvest, as people seek new principles and solid basis for their lives.
Servants of the Lord should be laborers in God’s harvest. The ministry is a work and must be attended to accordingly. It is harvest-work, which is needful work, work that requires everything to be done in its season and diligence to do it thoroughly.
Where are the Lord’s servants who have the decisive answer, who make every effort to raise those who fall and teach the ignorant how to lessen their spiritual hardship?
Christ calls you to pray and ask God insistently to send in our days many faithful believers to serve His ministry of salvation. This prayer is a holy duty based on Christ’s order. Christ did not simply surrender before a limitless ministry that is beyond the ability of any man, but commanded us to pray to the Lord of the harvest, insistently, that he would send out, in our days, competent and faithful laborers to gather in His harvest. Therefore take part in praying that God will send His servants to your town or city too. Do you feel pity for the scattered people and want God’s forgiveness for them? Do you feel pity for the sons of disobedience who do not know their Lord? Pray to the Lord to send out laborers in our days, for today is the day of the harvest.
It is God’s work to send out laborers. Christ makes from us servants. The office is of His appointing, the qualifications of His working and the call of His giving. They will not be owned nor paid as laborers, “How shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15)
Are you a called one? Ask God to open your ears that you may hear His call, that He may guide you to service and that you may reap much to glory of His holy name. If you are called, then do not be late or reluctant. Ask the Lord of power to empower you that you may carry out your call in good days and bad days.

Prayer
O Heavenly Father, here we are prepared to serve Your harvest. If You find us useful for service, employ us. We admit we are unsuccessful and unworthy of harvesting. Please purify us with the blood of Your Son and equip us with the power of Your Spirit. Send out many laborers into Your harvest all around our country and fill the world with Your ministers that Your kingdom will come soon.
Question
What does Jesus command us to ask Him insistently?