In Matthew 9.37-38 Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
The Harvest Is Great, But the Laborers Are Few
During the Season after Pentecost we engage in mission to the world. The risen and exalted Christ has given his people the commission to make disciples of all nations, to spread the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth. In Matthew 9.37-38 Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” He exhorted them to lift up their eyes and simply look of the fields of harvest, the teeming millions of the nations who need to know of God’s grace in the Son of God. The harvest is ripe, and the fields are white; the peoples of the world are truly ready for harvest (John 4.34-35).
The call to mission is a call to obedience and perseverance. We are called to share the apostolic heart, its clarity, passion, and vision. Christ has revealed to us that the harvest of souls is vast, the judgment that the lost face is inevitable, and the time is urgent. The opportunity for millions to hear of God’s love in Christ has been given to God’s messengers. They are called to proclaim to the very ends of the earth, to cross the barriers of race, culture, and class in order to prophesy deliverance in Christ, new hope of eternal salvation, and the certainty of divine judgment. These truths, when embraced and believed, produced a kind of internal urgency in the heart of the apostles, and can do the same in us.
The Season after Pentecost, therefore, is a time of urgency and readiness. No time can be wasted, no opportunity should be ignored, and no prospect overlooked. Our understanding of the harvest’s fullness and ripeness, when combined with a deep sense of the shortage of workers, should produce in us an overwhelming burden to share the Gospel with the lost, and to hazard our lives to go to the ends of the earth in order to tell those who have not heard the good news of salvation. This is a season of preparation, of mobilization, of engagement, and of courage. If we truly come to see and understand what the apostle saw saw and understood, then we, like them, will be moved to share and go even as they did.
Pray the Lord of the Harvest To Send Forth Laborers into His Harvest
Even though the workers are few, the harvest is great, and the time is short, we can be hopeful during this Season of the Church Year. Jesus asserts that the harvest is his own, he who is called the “Lord of the harvest.” It is neither ours to possess nor ours alone to superintend. Neither the enemy nor God’s workers are possessors of the harvest. It belongs to Christ alone.
The breadth of the harvest and its Gospel is mind boggling, indeed: it is universal, including the “entire creation” (Mark 16.15-16). It involves every person, with offers to be made to every man, woman, boy, and girl who do not know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior (Colossians 1.27-29). It crosses all barriers of race and clan, the gospel itself being a dynamic power to be proclaimed to every person and which can save all who hear and believe, not only the Jew but also to the Gentile (Romans 1.16-17). The Gospel is to be proclaimed to every single person beginning from Jerusalem, to Judea, in Samaria, and to the very ends of the earth (Acts 1.8), covering all nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues who will one day worship Christ (Rev.7.9-11). Every one of Adam’s condemned race, all who are currently under the power of the prince of the air, can hear, believe, and be delivered by faith in the Gospel (Romans 5; Ephesians 2.2; Colossians 1.13; 3.5-7).
During this Season, therefore, let us exalt the risen Christ as Head of the Church, and the Holy Spirit as the anointing power who is given to us in order to fulfill his commission in the world. Let us during this Season pray for courage to share the Gospel with our family and friends, and let us strive to be used of God in order to do all we can to help God’s messengers to cross barriers of culture and class with the message of reconciliation. Let us contribute our time and treasure to persuade as many peoples we can to become obedient disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, now the exalted Lord of all. Let us pray that all who believe will too become joyful members of his Church, living in community with the saints and fleshing out in their lives God’s Kingdom power.
The next Season we celebrate is Advent, the coming of the Lord. Let us labor with all the strength he gives us, declaring unashamedly that Jesus Christ is the Victor over all sin and the forces of evil. He alone is the true King who will return in power and reign as Lord in his Kingdom. Then the ancient words will be fulfilled: the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth even as the waters cover the sea. Until then, let us proclaim Jesus both Lord and Christ. To him be glory evermore!