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The Workers Are Few


The following was inspired by Matthew 9:35-38

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)


There are so many distractions. “The next best thing” can appear on the Internet, captivate the world’s attention in days, and later be completely forgotten. People’s thoughts “trend” on twitter and are “posted” on Facebook at astonishing rates. There are about 1 billion “tweets” every three days and roughly 175 million people log into Facebook everyday. People all around the world spend an average of 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month!1

Marketing companies distract us as they draw our attention to our material cravings. No longer do the products in commercials attempt to reel us in based on their usefulness, but rather on the idea that this product could somehow satisfy us emotionally, physically, and even spiritually.

Even when you think the distractions stop there; television, music, and pop culture pull us away from our values. They tell us to conform in the name of “tolerance” but then those who don’t are labeled narrow minded.

Our culture offers us so many ways to fill our time and our spirits, but we are still left with a huge hole. I believe that people are longing to find a deeper meaning and purpose that satisfies more than just the here and now. Whether searching online, in the mall, or for acceptance in society, something is still missing.

In Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus went through all the towns and villages and preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. While he moved from place to place, he scanned the crowds of people, and looked intently into their eyes. He could not help but feel compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus did not simply observe the physical needs of the people, but he perceived a great spiritual need in them that I’m sure he sees in people today.

The people of Jesus’ time were like sheep and so are people today. Just like sheep, we pursue fulfillment in whatever comes easy and seems best in the moment. The things we find do satisfy, but they only temporarily fill the hole in our hearts, and they always leave us asking for more. Jesus knew how to fill that hole, and it wasn’t with a check from the state lottery or a brand new 2013 sports car! In Matthew 9:35 Jesus gave us the only thing that could fill our emptiness; God’s grace in the promise of the coming Kingdom.

When I turn on the news, I see how families live paycheck-to-paycheck but still buy new cars and houses to “move up” in life. When I listen to the radio, I hear how this politician or this new product will solve all of our problems, but they seldom make things any better. It breaks my heart because the well-marketed false narrative that things of this world can fill our emptiness is simply not true. The only thing that can fill our souls is a relationship with God and the Gospel Jesus preached, the Gospel of the Kingdom!

People are searching for something that satisfies but they need someone to give them the message that can satisfy. Most often, the emphasis is that we act as Jesus would act, but I think just as important is teaching what Jesus taught. “The center of Jesus’ activity is ‘the good news of the kingdom.’ His words and deeds, indeed his very person, point to and presuppose that reality.”2 If this was true of Jesus, then it should be true of us too. Our words, our deeds, and our lives should exemplify the kingdom so that those who are searching may see the message of hope.

Many need the message of the kingdom and many need to be shown compassion. The harvest is plentiful and the world is full of people who are open to hearing a new message. We need to step up and step out. Yes, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are also few! Our job is to join God, be His workers, and take part in His mission of spreading the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God as we show compassion to those who need it! As we work to carry out the mission given to us we must exhibit the proper balance, as Jesus did, of grace and truth.

Jesus had compassion on the people he saw who were harassed and helpless. Are we having compassion on the people today who are strung out with commitments and dispirited after being let down again and again? When Jesus saw the people who had a deep spiritual need, he taught them about the Kingdom. When we see people today who are searching for a deeper meaning in the things of this world, are we teaching them about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God? Will you join God and be his worker?

1 http://www.statisticbrain.com/facebook-statistics/

2 Hagner, Donald A. (1993). Word Biblical Commentary Matthew 1-13 (Pg. 260-261).

4 Responses to “The Workers Are Few”

  1. on 19 Nov 2012 at 5:42 pmDoubting Thomas

    Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven… 🙂

  2. on 19 Nov 2012 at 6:48 pmSarah

    Amen, DT!

  3. on 20 Nov 2012 at 8:33 pmDoubting Thomas

    I enjoy discussing my beliefs with others, but I don’t consider myself to be a teacher. Y’shua said in Matthew 23:8,

    “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.”

    Also Y’shua’s brother James said in James 3:1,

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

    I have one teacher (Y’shua) and I consider myself to be a student of Christ… 🙂

  4. on 02 Oct 2013 at 5:59 amGeorge A, Wheelan

    I truly enjoyed what you shared and could feel your joy and Love for God and His son and the need that is in the world today.so,I am not in my closet.LORD God Almighty I ask that You forgive me for the sins I have committed in Christ Jesus name and I ask that You the LORD of the Harvest that You would send forth labourers into Your Harvest and that we should have great boldness to speak the great news of Your Love and of the Kingdom to come I ask in Christ Jesus name amen.


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