Read: Matthew 9:35-38
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray . . . (v. 37)
The 20th-century evangelical leader John Stott said that the world’s great tragedy was that so many people who were made by God and like God were nevertheless living apart from God. When Jesus spoke of the plentiful harvest, he was referring to these. As much as Jesus felt pity for physical suffering, what most aroused his compassion was people’s spiritual condition, their confusion and disorientation; in a word, their lostness. Jesus feels for folks who are stumbling along through life on their own, without God; who are in trouble because of wrong choices or bad decisions; who are caught in the grip of false teaching or deceptive ideologies. They are like sheep without a shepherd mostly because they don’t know the Good Shepherd.
For Jesus these huge numbers of lost people represent both a great opportunity (the plentiful harvest) and a great need (the few workers). So Jesus calls his disciples to action. We need to do something. He tells us to . . . pray. Not go, not give, but pray. Why does he name prayer as our first response? I can think of at least three reasons. One, because we all can do it. Two, because only God can ultimately bring in the harvest. Three, because if we are praying—and really meaning it—then we’ll do what we can to offer ourselves in answer to our prayers. Those who pray will also go and give. —David Bast
As you pray, offer yourself as part of God’s answer to your prayer.
About the Author
Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.