VISION AND PROVISION
Spirit of the living God, I pray you will grant me a true faith, a sure hope, and a perfect love.
Read Matthew 9:35 – 10:4
The Workers Are Few
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPrayer is how we line up our priorities with God’s will. Ask the Lord of the harvest to grow his compassion for people in your heart.
It’s been said that when God gives a vision, he always gives the provision to fulfill it. Often, as the disciples found, he makes us the answer to our own prayers (9:38; 10:1). He gives us authority to act in his name. ‘All authority in heaven and on earth’ has been given to Jesus (28:18), but he shares it with us. Consider, no authority is greater than that which is entrusted to us by Jesus. Every other power must yield (9:35; 10:1)!
As this Gospel’s author, it may seem curious that Matthew chooses to be known by his former profession, ‘tax collector’ (10:3). Hated by his fellow Jews, it identifies him as a swindling lackey of their Roman oppressors. Think about your pre-Christian life. Is there any way you lived then that shows just how much you’ve been saved from? In God, your past is not your future; it’s the story of how Jesus rescued you for a glorious destiny in him and it needs to be told! It could save a soul! With his authority (10:1), you can reach out to lost sheep with the compassion (9:36) of one who remembers what they were saved from, and who knows what they’ve been saved for (see Ephesians 1:18).
‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ (Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919). Who is ‘harassed and helpless’ that you know (9:36)?
Heavenly Father, I want to be your faithful servant in the world. Fill me with the compassion of Jesus as I touch the lives of others.