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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38
As you read the passage quoted above, my hope is that you will renew your affection and admiration for our Master Jesus. What a perfect marriage of power and kindness! He gave Himself day in and day out for the good of His people. And these were poor people. What could they do for Jesus in return? Nothing at all. Yet it was His joy to serve them as He served His Father, demonstrating to them all the goodness and availability of the Kingdom that has now come.
I want to draw your attention to His words in verse 38. They are still painfully true today, and they show us several crucial things about our lives in partnership with Him. In Jesus’ parable (i.e. comparison), there is a lord of the harvest, and he owns the field and all it produces. He’s not the one who does all the work in the field, though. No, he has harvesters working for him. So then, the lord, or owner, has a vested interest in maximizing the harvest that is brought in, because the crop won’t do him any good unless it is harvested and brought into his barns.
What does it mean if a worker asks the lord of the harvest to send out more workers? It means that the worker cares about his/her master’s interests. It shows that the harvester is not just a self-interested paid laborer, but is a friend of the master who considers the master’s interests to be their own. This is love for the master. The worker who is simply in it for the paycheck won’t worry about anything but doing enough to get paid. (So what if half the harvest rots in the fields – I got what I came for!)
May we long for our Master’s success and consider His interests to be our own! As we do, let us ask Him to send reinforcements to see the work gets done. After all, we’re not talking wheat here. We’re sharing our Master’s vision of the precious lives that are lost in darkness and hopelessness – images of God who need to be brought into the kingdom of His full and eternal life. Will you join me today in doing what our Master commanded? Let’s obey our Master and focus our prayers today on this great need: “Lord, please call, equip, and send more workers!”
Working in the fields of the Master with you,