22 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 9:35-38 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (Matthew 9:35–38 NLT)
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of Northern Israel, teaching in the synagogues, announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven, healing every kind of disease and illness. He saw the people at their best and at their worst. He saw rich people and poor people, religious Jews and secular Jews. He saw the Roman oppressors, and the oppressed Jews. He saw the Jewish Zealots who wanted to throw the Romans out and the saw the tax collectors, and others who got rich off the system. And he saw sick, diseased, unclean, outcast people whose lives were a living hell.
And you know what he did? He preached a message of Kingdom of Heaven hope for the hopeless for this life and the next. He taught those who gathered to listen about a better way, a new way, a Jesus way of thinking and living that would bring peace into their confused, fragmented lives. And he healed every kind of disease and illness!
He did these things because he had compassion on them, because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus was empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, and his compassionate response was to give them hope, teach them how to live, and to heal every kind of disease and illness. Because he had compassion on them.
Then he said, “Pray to the Harvest Master for more workers to be sent to the harvest fields.” Jesus had compassion and did what he could do. Then Jesus commissioned his followers (and us) to have the same compassion he has and do what we can do. What should we do? What can we do? How should we respond?
Father, I pray you will send more workers into your fields. And I pray that you will send my friends and me into the fields where you want us to work. And fill our hearts with compassion and set us doing what we can do for the sick, the confused, the hopeless. May we never retire from being hope-givers and compassion showers! Amen!