“THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW.” This verse is found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 9, verse 37 (NIV). The events in this chapter leading up to this statement by Jesus are astounding. Jesus heals a paralyzed man and by doing so indicates He has power to forgive the sins of mankind. He follows this with the call of Matthew the tax collector to follow him and He gathers all kinds of sinful people in Matthew’s home to share God’s grace to sinners and religious people alike. Jesus then follows this time with an announcement that something new is happening in God’s plan for the Kingdom and patches on the old religious system are being replaced with something new from God. After all that, as Jesus was walking from that point to the synagogue leader’s house, in order to raise a dead girl, a woman was healed of a blood disease by simply touching the edge of his cloak and by her faith she was healed. When Jesus arrived at his destination He was ridiculed by the crowd waiting outside the home because He said, “The girl is not dead but asleep,” (v.24). Jesus went into the house, “took the girl by the hand, and she got up,” (v.25). As Jesus went on from there He healed two blind men and this was followed by Jesus healing a mute man by driving out the demon who had taken control of him. Needless to say the news of this man Jesus was spread far and wide throughout the region and crowds were flocking to Him but the religious leaders for the most part were aligned against Him. “But 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,” (v.35).
None of these things produced pride in Jesus nor was he concerned about Himself but “when He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,” (v.36). Many religious leaders today are impressed by the crowds who flock to hear them and they become very prideful and are concerned more about what they receive from the adoring crowds than they are for meeting the real needs of the crowds. And very often these leaders cling to the control of ministries and are not sharing leadership and the proclamation of a gospel message with others. That is so unlike Jesus. Jesus saw the needs of the crowds who followed Him and Jesus saw beyond just those crowds but He also saw the needs of the remainder of the world. And Jesus’ response to the feelings that welled up inside Him should so touch our hearts and souls that we respond accordingly, “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,’” (v.37-38). Jesus is no longer among us in bodily form and He has committed the task He started to His disciples; you and me I hope. I pray that when we (you and me) read Matthew 9 and see the power of Jesus to heal sin and perform miracles such as raising the dead that we respond to the call of being a worker in the harvest field around us. After all, as Christians, Jesus has raised us from the spiritually dead lives we once had. Can we not share that miracle with others in Jesus name?