Matthew 9:35-38 NRSVue
35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
In face of the helplessness and harassment that many suffer, Jesus reminds us to turn to God. We work as though everything depended on us, but pray as though everything depended on God. He is the Lord of the harvest. It is his world, not ours. We do what we can, glad to be of service. But God did not create us to help him out of a jam. The work of the world's redemption is never complete. When we have done our best, we turn to our father in heaven and say: /Thank you for giving me a share in this work. Now over to you, Lord./
The heart of Jesus is characterised by compassion. He could enter into the lives of others, particularly the lost and the needy, and they knew he cared. He seemed to care for them with a greater care than sometimes they had for themselves. Sheep without a shepherd roam in circles and they may even be led off by a false shepherd. Thus it is with us. Prayer is the field where compassion may be sown, for those near and those far away.
I bring to mind those who feel harassed and helpless. I pray for the compassion that Jesus had: that I may recognise those in need around me and be a shepherd to them.
Jesus recognised many missed opportunities as he looked at the people around him. I ask God to help me to recognise the rich harvest around me, that I may use the opportunities I might otherwise miss.