Support us with your Logos purchase

The Harvest is Ripe (guest post)

The Harvest is Ripe (guest post)

A timely call from visiting professor David Park

Matthew 9:35-38
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

God has made it clear what we as believers are called to do, especially with the advent of Christ Jesus – His Son. The author of Hebrews confirms this in the first chapter where he says:

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2b).

Therefore, we have no excuse, for the Lord has revealed His will to us; He did so not only by His words, but His very life served to be an example for us to follow. And what did Christ do? Christ went throughout the Ancient Near East proclaiming the “Good News” of His Heavenly Kingdom. He also went around and healed the sick of every type of disease and affliction (both physical and spiritual). And the last commandment Christ left us with, which is commonly referred to as the “Great Commission,” were instructions to go and baptize people from all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and also to teach [all] people from every nation [without discrimination] to obey everything He [Christ] had commanded…” (Matthew 28:18-20a, emphasis mine). Henceforth, we see that His disciples did exactly just that.

Scripture tells us in Acts 2 that Peter called those who were present to “Repent and to be baptized,” for the “forgiveness of their sins,” and explained to them that they would then receive the promised Holy Spirit. This was an offer and promise to not only the children of those who were present [the Children of Israel], but also to those who were far off [sinners and gentiles]. And we are told that “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them” (Acts 2:40a), and told them to “save themselves from the corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40b, emphasis mine).

As such, as Peter and the other disciples followed in the footsteps of Christ, we too must follow in the footsteps of Christ, that is, if we truly want to be His disciples. We must also be filled with and exhibit the same type of love and compassion that Christ had for the crowds mentioned in Matthew 9:36 where it says that “he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Christ saw how weary and exhausted the people were from being burdened by the many [613] man-made religious commandments and rites that were being imposed on them by the hypocritical Pharisees and their man-made traditions.

Christ saw the people as sheep without a Shepard – people who were abandoned, neglected, and hungry, who were unfortunately at the mercy of ravenous wolves. For this reason, Christ was compelled to feed them, not with just physical manna, but with the Bread of Life which He Himself is. And this is no different today in the 21st Century.

Recently, on September 22nd, I had another opportunity to do Open-Air Preaching on Vermont and Wilshire near the Metro Station with two brothers in Christ. And while I was preaching the Word of God, I was able to sense that their was a deep hunger and yearning within those who passed by us. There were several people who encouraged us by honking and giving us thumbs up. However, there were many more onlookers who simply looked lifeless. But this should not come as a surprise being that without Christ, there really is no life, or any real hope.

Now we, who have been entrusted with the Gospel, have a duty to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins. We are told that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37). God does not lie, so when Christ tells us that the Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, He is telling us the truth.

Thus, how can we claim to love God and our neighbors when we do not obey the Lord’s commands, and when we just sit back and watch those around us headed for hell and do nothing about it? What’s worse is that God tells us that the Harvest is ripe, meaning that there are many people who are ready to receive the Word, but not enough workers to share it and proclaim it.

Withholding the “Good News,” is no different than watching someone about to walk off a cliff and being silent. It is no different than seeing someone about to get hit by a car and not even say a word. And in reality, not sharing the “Good News” with the lost is actually much worse since physical death is only temporal, but spiritual death and separation from God is eternal. For these reasons, let us pray to God each day and ask him to send workers into the Harvest. Let us ask Him for greater boldness and also ask Him to give us greater love and concern for the lost.

Comments are closed.