Harvest is great. Harvesters are few | Matthew 9:35-38

Scripture:Matthew 9:35-38 [NLT]35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38, New King James Version)

Observation:(What does your mind's eye see when you read this scripture?)

I see Jesus traveling from village to village bringing his message of hope to anyone who would listen. Healing anyone that he could and joining them where they were. (What joy those towns and villages must have experienced)Note that He came to them. He was not expecting them to come to him. He did not set up a big church and say, "Now come to Me all you sinners. Come over here where I've made camp!" Nope, He went to them and healed them where they were. This seems very symbolic of how he stands at the door of our hearts and asks to come in. He does not ask us to first meet Him in church and then He will help us.

I find it interesting that this brief definition of how Jesus went to the people is followed by his statement that "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few"...the order of these two verses does not seem happenstance.

The farmer does not wait for the grain to walk into his silo. The wine maker does not expect the grapes to get themselves into the wine press. As followers (disciples) of Christ we are called to go out and share with others where they are. Do not settle for inviting them to your church and expect the miracle to happen there...Jesus knew that we need to be "harvested" gently. Go into their homes. Go where the harvest is, and be a good worker.

What is a good worker? Well, if you were harvesting grapes, for instance, would you pull them roughly off the vine and toss them like an apple in a box. No, because you are not harvesting apples, you are harvesting grapes. The point is that a good worker learns about his harvest and knows about it and finds out the best way to handle it before attempting the harvest.

Application:(How do I apply this to my life?)

I need to be more careful in how I try to share Jesus. I need to spend time getting to know the "harvest" and I need to make sure that I am listening to the greatest harvester of all.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Help me to be a good worker. Help me to handle the harvest in the way that You would have me. All too often I think I know the right way to do things and all too often I choose the easy way or the least scary way; but Your way is best. I know now that I need to know the harvest. Thank you for being the Good Shepherd. Help me to learn to hear Your voice and respond.

Be with the Wilson's today. I do not know the details of what happened but I know that they need You. Please be with the family of the gentlemen who was in the car accident. Give them comfort and bring to them someone who can show empathy for their loss and sorrow.

Continue to bless our small group bible studies. Help us to get to know each other better so that we can treat each other like a precious harvest.

I love you Jesus. Amen.

_____________________

Don't forget to share what you have seen in this scripture in the comments section below.

Confusion leads away from Jesus | Matthew 9:32-34

Scripture: Matthew 9:32-34 [NLT]32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 9:32-34, New King James Version)

Observation: (What does your mind's eye see when you read this scripture?)

I see the notoriety of Jesus growing. People are starting to hear about the amazing things he has done; his raising of the dead girl and the healing of the blind men, so they bring him a demon possessed man who is mute. No fanfare, no sprinkling of holy water or incantations...He simply tells the demon to leave the man. Remember who is the one doing the casting out? The one who created the demon in the first place. I don't mean that Jesus created a "demon" I mean that he created the perfect angel that has now become an evil demon. He has the power over all living things and created things, because He is the Creator.

I see this man suddenly being able to talk. What a glorious moment for him and his friends to finally be rid of this terrible curse. Demon possession must be a little like being drunk. You don't have full control of your body or mind. I imagine the healing or casting out as being a little like being made sober and clear headed instantly. (My own musings)

The religious leaders (pastors and great scholars) are watching and they see a chance to discredit Jesus. So, without directly and openly accusing Him, they start whispering to those in the crowd their suspicious musings that Jesus may be using the power of the Devil to do these miracles. They are introducing confusion to something that is good and pure and real.

Application:(How can I apply this to my life?)

As the strength of the Word grows in your life. As the power of the Spirit starts to make changes the enemy will seek to bring chaos and confusion in to draw you away from it. He will introduce new ways of thinking or wonderful paths of knowledge, but you will soon discover that they have led you away from Christ instead of to Him. He was there, always easily accessible in the Words of the gospels, but you somehow found something "better"...more exciting, and were led astray.

I have purposed in my heart to learn more about Jesus in all that I study. This is the one pursuit that Satan cannot stand...and I love the idea of rebelling against the greatest rebel of all. However, I have to understand that I will be met with resistance...and the one true source of help against that resistance is the One that I seek. What a wonderful thing is this!

Prayer: (Let Him know what you are thinking)

Dear Jesus,

I want so much to know You better. I know that the enemy is going to do everything he can to lead me away from You. But, I also know that you are the one who can protect me from his misleadings and help to keep me focused on You. Today, and every day, I ask that you will help me to find You. Please come into my life and fill me with Your Spirit.

Please be with the small bible study groups that I am in. Help us to stay focused on you and to not be led astray. We need the Good Shepherd. I ask for Your staff to keep us on the safe path.

Thank you Lord for all that you provide in my life. I ask that Your will be done in my work life. May everything that I do bring You glory. Amen.

__________________

Be sure to enjoy the journey by leaving your comments!

Now I can see | Matthew 9:27-31

Scripture:Matthew 9:27-31 [NLT]27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country. (Matthew 9:27-31, New King James Version)

Observation:(What does your mind's eye see when you read this scripture?)

I see these two blind men, probably dressed in rags as they most likely were beggars , walking along behind Jesus after he leaves the young girls house. They are calling out to Him as the "Son of David" and I get the sense that Jesus may have not responded to them until he got to the home where He was staying. Just a little test of faith. Note that they did not get discouraged and stop trying. When they got to the house they simply followed Him in. This could also show that possibly Jesus had beckoned them in. Now that they are in the house He turns and faces them. I see them with yearning on their faces straining to hear the voice of Jesus; and then He speaks. He asks them if they believe that He can make them see and they quickly respond with a YES knodding their heads.

Now Jesus walks up to them and touches their faces, something that probably hasn't been done for a very long time. I see them waiting for some feeling of massive power to wash over them or consume them, but instead it is a peaceful process. They suddenly get a sense of light and as they open their eyes they start to make out the tender face of Jesus; it becomes clear and they see the power and authority and love for them radiating from that face. What a glorious feeling!

Something to note here...when Jesus healed these men (and many others) they did not fall to the ground or get "slammed' by the Holy Spirit causing them to crumble or fall back. No, they were simply healed by the one who had created them in the first place. Remember that next time you are watching some flamboyant healer on television or in person. Are you really watching the power of God at work? Where is the peace...?

Now I see them running through the streets, bubbling over with praise and excitement that they just can't keep in. Jesus knew this would happen and by telling them to be quiet he was only helping to show that it is impossible to remain quiet when you have been touched by Him.

Application:(How can I apply this to my life?)

I see that I need simple faith/trust/belief in my Savior. No strings attached. Jesus did not tell them "I will heal you if..." he told them that because they believed in His power to make them well that He would do it. HE is the one doing it. HIM and HIM alone. They only needed to believe that it was possible. This is another lesson to me on putting my faith in Jesus and letting him handle my salvation.

Prayer: (Tell Him how you feel)

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for being willing to heal us. I praise You and Your name because You alone can make me whole. Heal my heart Lord. Take my life and make it useful for you.

Keep my family, friends, and church safe. Bring us all closer to You. Thank You for all that you provide and know that I love You. Amen.

Related articles

Touching Jesus changed their lives | Matthew 9:18-26

Scripture:Matthew 9:18-26 [NLT]18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. 20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour. 23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went out into all that land. (Matthew 9:18-26, New King James Version)

Observation: (What does your minds eye see when you read this scripture?)

I see Jesus surrounded by a crowd now, teaching them. His notoriety is growing and so the crowd is growing as well. Coming through the crowd is a well known leader of a synagogue, the crowd parts to let him through as they all recognize him. Maybe they are thinking he's come to challenge Jesus, maybe to welcome him but I see them all watching intently to see what happens.

Then, the leader kneels before Jesus, (No man should bend the knee to anyone but God) and makes a statement of faith in Jesus' power over life and death. The crowd must have gasped at the mere fact that a great leader was kneeling before Him.

Without a great flamboyant fanfare loudly proclaiming, for all to hear, the wonderful miracle He is about to perform (unlike many "healers" of our day who seek to take much glory to themselves) Jesus simply gets up and starts toward the leaders home.

During his travels a woman who has been suffering for 12 years with a malady that no doubt has left her physically and mentally exhausted reaches out and touches His robe. Jesus is in the middle of a crowd. He is no doubt being bumped and touched by many hands; she, however, somehow touches Him and he notices it because He senses the faith in her. This prompts Him to make a proclamation that her faith has healed her.

Now Jesus is in the leaders home. They are already in the process of mourning, which includes much noise (weeping and gnashing of teeth) and funeral music. The girl is clearly dead; probably pale and lifeless with no breath entering or leaving her little body.

Now Jesus looks at the crowd and instructs them to leave this place for the girl is not dead but sleeping. The crowd laughs at Jesus as though he were crazy because they know dead when they see it. These people either haven't heard of Jesus or they have no faith in the power that He has.

After the mourners leave Jesus walks over to the girl, takes her hand, and she suddenly gains color in her face and takes a fresh breath of air once again. Then he helps her to her feet. Life again! A new life for this girl and her family...a second chance.

The crowd sees this miracle (the biggy; defeating death) and many run to tell friends or go to loved ones who may need healing. The news travels very quickly at this point.

Application: (How does this effect my life?)

Simple faith. I need it. The only way I can get it is to trust in Jesus more. How can He possibly help someone who doesn't think they need His help?

Prayer: (Tell it to your Friend)

Dear Jesus,

Thank you so much for being willing to wait on us. I have been so full of relying on myself and now I know that I need to rely on you. Nothing I can do for myself will ever get me to your side in heaven...that I have to leave up to You. Please increase my faith/trust/belief in You.

Watch over my family and friends today. Lord, also, please help those who are struggling in the Middle East. Please protect your people there...give them strength and encouragement.

Help me to be a good worker, husband, friend and father. I love You. In Jesus name, Amen.

______________

Don't forget to let others know what you have seen in the scripture by leaving a comment.

New Wineskin vs. Old Wineskin | Matthew 9:14-17

Scripture:Matthew 9:14-17 [NLT] 14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:14-17, New King James Version)

Observation: (How does this scene look to your mind's eye?)

I see a follower of John the Baptist coming to Jesus with a serious question in his heart; but one based on the understanding of his time. He, (this is conjecture on my part) may have been concerned with the outward appearance of Jesus' camp. He's wondering why they don't show themselves as "religious" and make displays of deep fasting. This is not to say that John's camp was not fasting with a true heart for God, but often we do things that help us to feel closer to God and then expect that others must do them to also get closer to God. Let's look at how Jesus responds to the question and maybe we can get an idea of what is being dealt with here.

In essence He is saying that you don't put something new into something old and expect it to work. You can't put new ways of thinking into old ways of thinking and expect them to work together; you must first be born again and made "new" before you can expect to be able to spiritually understand the gospel message.

I also like how he points to their fasting as a state of mourning and that they should really be celebrating because their Redeemer is there with them...the marriage of God to man is taking place...it should be a time of great joy!

Application:(How can I apply this to my life?)

I simply feel like Jesus is asking me to check myself (my past) and seek to find those things that I am doing which are "old" and not a part of getting to know Him better. Would He ever ask me to stop obeying? No. But, He does want me to make myself a "new wineskin" before I try to fill myself with service for Him. If I do it too soon or wrong, I could make a mess of things. He wants to teach me instead of me "teaching" myself.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus,

Please continue to work in my life. Help me to become a new wineskin that You can use and that others can get new wine from. Help my faith and trust in You to grow daily. Help me to treasure You more than anything this world has to offer.

Protect me and my family and friends from the enemy today. Help me to do well at work. I love You Lord. Amen.

____________

(Please tell us what you have seen in this scripture by leaving a comment below.)