October 18, 2016

Harvest Workers

Matthew 9:35-38

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

—  Matthew 9:38

During harvest, every available hand is needed to finish the work. Ripe crops should not remain in the field any longer than necessary, lest something spoil them. Diligent workers are needed to gather the harvest as quickly as possible.

Here Jesus shares not just a sense of urgency but also a cause for motivation. Jesus looks at people with compassion. He does not see, as we might expect, people with their lives together. He sees people who are “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” He sees people who know the challenges of the world and the burdens of sin.

Perhaps that describes you today. You may not feel you are a fitting part of the harvest for God because of your struggles and sins. Jesus reaches out to hurting people with grace and compassion, inviting them to see him as the good shepherd who gives himself up for the sheep (John 10:11, 14-15). No sinner is too far gone to become a fruitful part of God’s harvest.

This reality should give urgency to the mission of any Christ follower. Who will tell the hurting world the news of the good shepherd? Jesus has commissioned his followers to share the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). All who follow him are called to seek the Lord’s harvest.

Are you willing to pray and work for this harvest?

Lord of the harvest, provide laborers who can introduce hurting people to the good shepherd’s compassionate care. May your Spirit prepare me for this work. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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