When Jesus was leaving the Earth, He gave us the mandate to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. As we are coming out of this pandemic, it’s important for us to understand that the hearts of men are seeking God. As the hearts of men are seeking God, it’s important for them to connect to a church that is preaching Christ.
We are in a period of praying and fasting right now, and one of the things that the Lord led us to pray, was to pray that the hearts of believers will be connected once again to their church and that the hearts of leaders and Pastors will be connected once again to their people. Because it is very easy for us now to get carried away by the audience we have online, and forget that we really must build the Church; and that the local church still has its place and must be built. And for that to happen we must focus on evangelism, winning souls and reaching people. People are hungry right now. People have so many questions. But the real thing is this – will they find the answers from the Church ? Are we mobilised or demobilised to preach the Gospel?
In Matthew 9:35-37, the Bible says :
« 35 Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
There are important lessons to learn from this passage.
What Jesus was doing:
- He went to all the towns and villages: This means that He was going around from place to place. Sometimes when we think of Jesus, we think that He made an apparition on the earth, did His thing and left. We really don’t see the amount of effort that He put into the work on the earth, the amount of energy, how much of Himself He put into His life and work on the earth. At the time He was not travelling by BMW or by boat. He was walking to all these places! We forget, perhaps we do not dwell at length, on what it cost the Lord to be on earth as a human being. He went through all the things that we go through as human beings such as fatigue and hunger, and yet He continued with His mission!
- Jesus :
- taught in the synagogues;
- preached the good news of the kingdom:
- We see Him active, actively working, actively serving so that people will know Him and will come to the knowledge of God. Jesus didn’t just chill on Earth, till He went to the cross! Sometimes that is what we think! That He sat around with many people around Him, admiring Him and calling Him Master, and doing wonderful miracles and from time to time He would take a boat, or He would walk on water! No! He was walking and going from place to place expending significant amount of energy and effort.
- healed every disease. As He was doing all of this work, Jesus was not thinking about all the energy He was expending and the problems He had, or how difficult this was. Because it was not easy! Some people were against Him. Everywhere He went He was criticised and attacked for healing people and He had before Him the challenging and daunting task of gong to the cross to carry the sins of humanity. But Jesus was so moved by the condition of the people. He decided He was not going to leave them in that condition. He is still moved by the condition of people today. He is still not leaving them in the condition in which they are. There is not a single person, whatever their condition, who comes to Christ whose life is not transformed.
What Jesus saw:
- Jesus saw a problem. The question is – what do you see ? Jesus had a perspective that is so different from ours. He saw the crowd that was weary and worn out. It means He was not just seeing their phsyical appearance beacuse unless they were all prisoners and coming back from the dungeons then they would look weray and worn out in the natural! But Jesus was seing beyond their physical appearance; He was seeing them as they truly were, in the eyes of God, that life had burdened them.
When you go out today, people are looking sharp and nicely dressed with cool haircuts. But if you have eyes to see them as they truly are, then you will know that they are weary and worn out. But Jesus saw their state and had compassion for them. He had a burden for lost souls. That is an expression that we do not know much these days because we are a generation of believers which has a burden for itself and our blessings, our cars and our new homes. But that is not what we are called do ! Jesus said « Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you » (Matthew 6 :33). But we have specialised in seeking these things, but Jesus is giving us a better way !
When you see a crowd of peope what do you see? Jesus is calling us to have different sentiments with regards to other people. In this year, I want to challenge you to become a witness, to feel what Jesus feels, to see what He sees. He sees these people and they are bewildered. They were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. That is the way that people without the Lord are like today. We are surrounded by lost people who are not saved and reconciled to the Father. But the question is, do we see it ? Despite the challenges and accusations that Jesus faced, His mind was always on the next person (how He could help them, and bless them).
- Jesus saw a solution. Jesus gave us the solution to the problem. We have the solution to the fact that so many people are lost today and do not have relationship with God. Jesus said, « Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:38). Beloved, you ar the solution that Jesus found to the lostness of humanity. Its not prayer that’s the solution. Prayer is the means to arrive at the solution. The solution really is that there be workers in the harvest and the means to get workers to the harvest is to pray that the Lord would send them. But the real solution is the workers! Even though Christ has gone to the cross and paid the price for our redemption, there are still so many people that are not saved beacuse there are no workers. It takes a worker to do what it takes for the cross to have the impact it should have in the life of a person.
It took workers for you and I to be saved. We are the solution! And for the people who are the solution to actually become the solution, it takes prayer; prayer for God to draw them and change their hearts. I pray that as you read this article or watch the video, the Spirit of God will begin to move on your heart and effect a radical change!
- Jesus saw that the harvest was abundant. We need to let God change our perception of the harvest ; our vision of people because in some parts of the world we have a fortress mentality (thinking that the Church is under siege and that the world hates the Church !), but Jesus says the harvest is abundant. Perhaps we are the ones that are not seeing their lostness and not feeling compassion like Jesus did, which means that we are not seeing that the fields are ripe for harvest. We need to have a mindshift and allow the Lord to renew our minds, and think differently. If we dont believe that people will believe, then we can never get people to believe, because we will never say the things that will get them to believe or do the things that will bring them to believe. We will always have personal preocuppations and priorities that trump any word or will of the Father because we do not believe that they will believe. But if we believe that they will believe then we will do what it takes for them to believe. Jesus said the harvest is abundant, He did not lie to us. So they will believe !
The concept of obligation
This is a generation that does not like to be compelled to do anything except to get a salary at the end of the month! This is a generation that does not like the word ‘duty’ and yet we have a duty. As believers it is our duty to win souls. It is our obligation to bring other people to Christ. Jesus instructed and commanded us to go and make disciples. We are under obligation to preach the Gospel. The Apostle Paul said,
‘For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because an obligation is placed on me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!’ (1 Corinthians 9:16)
I pray, beloved, that you will actually come to the point when you can actually say that about yourself. We are supposed to unashamedly win people to Christ. Jesus went about doing good. We are imitators of Christ and that is what we are called to do. I want to challenge you today to decide to preach the Gospel. Let the Lord open your eyes and show you the condition of the people in your generation, town, city, environment, place of work, so that you will feel deep compassion for them and obey the Lord and go out there and do anything the Lord tells you to do. Whenever we obey the Lord there is always an outcome, there is always a result.
Beloved, the fields are white for harvest and the harvest is abundant. Will you be a worker today ?