35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36. But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were tired and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
37. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.
38. Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers into His harvest.
35. És körüljárja vala Jézus a városokat mind, és a falvakat, tanítván azoknak zsinagógáiban, és hirdetvén az Isten országának evangyéliomát, és gyógyítván mindenféle betegséget és mindenféle erõtelenséget a nép között.
36. Mikor pedig látta vala a sokaságot, könyörületességre indula rajtok, mert el voltak gyötörve és szétszórva, mint a pásztor nélkül való juhok.
37. Akkor monda az õ tanítványainak: Az aratni való sok, de a munkás kevés.
38. Kérjétek azért az aratásnak Urát, hogy küldjön munkásokat az õ aratásába.
"There they go," says one cartoon, "and I must catch up with them, for I am their leader!"
Jesus saw people like that. When he did, he had compassion. The original word expresses deep emotion of great intensity. It is his humanity we see here, for he sees humanity, and weeps.
Why? I once worked with a woman who achieved what she thought was salvation about every three months. The cause was always different—it ranged from EST to country-western dancing—but the result was always the same. She chased the fashion of the moment, and it lead to nowhere. She refused to consider Jesus Christ, for he is out of fashion. It is still true: where there is no vision, the people perish. People then, people now, worry over where to find the rainbow's end.
The harvest is plentiful. There certainly seem to be enough of them. But do we recognize them around us? Some of those around me I will never be able to reach; they speak a different language. Isn't more common, though, to meet those we will not reach? Consider the "ordinary invisibles." These are the waitresses, flight attendants, clerks—all those people with whom we don't want to make eye contact. So many people see them each day; so few will speak to them of Christ.
Did you notice how Jesus described it? The laborers are few—not members. We have plenty of auditors and consultants.
So what is the solution? Jesus gives us two principles:
· First, we are commanded to pray. This is how God works. He delights in those who come to him in earnest prayer, and wants to grant their requests. Those who establish the right relationship with him will see his favor.
· Second, we are commanded to pray for more laborers. Why? Why not ask for the gift of becoming "super-preacher?" It is in weakness God's strength is shown; by this means the result will be to his glory, rather than our ego inflation.
As more come to work, those who are brought to faith will be able to learn from personal contact, not television sermons. God spreads his kingdom in this way so that we might be welded together as the church, not just a gaggle of listeners.
Do you see the agony of those around you, chasing after the wind? Have compassion, have pity on them. Ask your Heavenly Father to send out those who will bring his children home.