Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'” – Matthew 9:37-38.
Looking out over the massive crowds that have come to see Him, Jesus is filled with compassion for the people. He sees that they are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. This is not only an expression of care for the people. It’s an indictment of the failed spiritual leaders of Israel (John 10:11–13). In response to this compassion for the people, Jesus turns to His followers. His comment here meshes with remarks Jesus made after speaking to the woman at the well: “the fields are white for harvest” (John 4:35).
Jesus seems to be saying that many people are ready to believe in Jesus and be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. As the Great Shepherd, Jesus understands that this is their greatest need. This is how they will be rescued from their harassed and helpless condition and given peace, joy, and the hope of an eternal home with the Father.
What is the solution to this labor shortage? Jesus says in the second part of this verse that for His followers, it is prayer.
Jesus asks His followers to participate in the solution to this problem. He asks them to pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest that He would send more and more laborers out with this message. Jesus identifies two roles that believers can serve: praying earnestly and going out as laborers with the gospel.
There’s so much in these verses but let’s just say this. The workers are few, the harvest is plentiful. It can be completely overwhelming to look at the big picture here and decide what to do. So, how do we get around that overwhelming image? We look to do one thing. One small thing in your family, your community, your friend circle, your neighborhood. We are all the hands and feet of Jesus. We all need the love, the hope, the goodness that Jesus brings. All of us. Not just the few here and there. All of us. Your neighbor, your community, your friend. All of us.
Bring Jesus to just one person to start. Be the light, the hope. Be the love of Jesus today.