“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” ~ Matthew 9:36-38
Whenever I read these verses especially verse 37, I picture a beautiful gold field of sun glistening wheat that gently moves from the summer breeze. As a matter of fact, this is where many Christians unknowingly make a disconnect, especially how Christ sees the plentiful harvest and how we see it.
I understand that Christ used many farmer analogies and parables, let's face it; farming was a very common and popular occupation. However, as I dig deeper into these verses, I couldn’t help imagining being the real farmer in this reading. Just thinking of a field full and plentiful of wheat ready to be picked and not having enough workers to pick the crop. What would I do? Would I panic as I seek for laborers to help me pick the harvest? Would I be disappointed? Is that what Jesus did?
I would imagine that as a farmer, I sacrificed much to sow and work the land and then to have the crop go bad and destroyed and scattered; would make me feel sad and moved with compassion for the loss of my crop. However Jesus said to his disciples “The harvest truly is plentiful..” there seems to be a feeling of desperation and urgency as he saw all the multitude of people weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.
But what I find interesting in this reading and this time of urgency, desperation and compassion, was that his command to his disciples was not to start another evangelistic ministry, or ask for special offering collection to rescue the multitudes, instead Jesus told his disciples to PRAY, and although evangelistic ministries and special offerings are not necessarily bad, Jesus knew that nothing moves without first praying to the father because he is the Lord of the Harvest!!
How about you? How do you see the harvest? What are you doing when your heart is full of compassion as it breaks for the harvest? Sometimes the harvest is as near as our own family, such as a wayward son or daughter that is lost in a addiction, a family member that doesn’t know Christ. But where do we go first when we are experiencing these terrible predicaments? Many of us try to roll back our sleeves and do all we can humanly do, and if it doesn’t work then we pray to the Lord of the Harvest as a final result.
Do you see the importance and priority to prayer that Jesus expressed? Jesus knew that regardless how bad things look we need to start with prayer, and he demonstrated that in his own life while he was on earth.
Finally, how do you see the plentiful harvest? Does it move you like it continues to move Christ? I’m reminded of a song by Hillsong that says “Open our eyes, to see the things That make your heart cry..” I truly believe that if we see the harvest as Christ sees it we wouldn’t want to stop praying!
Mercy Hill Church and the Mercy Hill Prayer Ministry would like to help you see the harvest as Christ sees it. There are avenues for you to connect with our prayer ministry at each of our locations. For more information, email our prayer team at email@example.com.