The Workers are Few, Jesus Sends out the Twelve

We begin this section with one of the most famous quotes in Matthew: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
The Workers are Few: Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus Sends out the Twelve: Matthew 10:1-42, Mark 6:7-11, Luke 9:1-5

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One Reply to “The Workers are Few, Jesus Sends out the Twelve”

  1. The Workers are Few

    Jesus said, “they are like sheep without a shepherd,” a rather dismal thought at best! Sheep are not bright, not the most intelligent of animals (to say the least). Without a good shepherd, they would overeat the field and starve, fall over and languish or drown in a creek. Isaiah 53:6 reminds us:

    All we like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way

    Being sheep without a shepherd is cause for concern. Recognizing that we are sheep is something difficult for many, if not most, to see. Many times I’ve prayed for discernment as I interact with friends, family and those I don’t even know at all. The ability to see through the masks we tend to embrace is helpful in advancing the kingdom.

    Jesus Sends out the Twelve

    Mark and Luke provide concise statements for this section of scripture; Matthew provides a wealth of details. It’s quite interesting to study this particular section. Some think the disciples were sent in relays of two, others disagree with this notion, but generally, it’s conceded that this was a temporary dispatch of his disciples since we know they are with Jesus in the coming chapters. An important concept is that they have learned enough to be sent out, even for a brief time. Learning is a life-long adventure. It seems that each time I read through scripture I see something different or in a new light. As I continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus, I see things differently. This should be expected, but frustrating at times since I want to know more, be more patient and understanding, wiser today rather than looking back and laughing at my apparent immaturity.

    Jesus gives his disciples all authority to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and drive out demons. “Freely you have received; freely give.”

    “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.” It seems this is more true today than a few years ago or at least the wolves are bolder than ever before. The reminder to be “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” is paramount. The concept of going out two-by-two reminds us that we’re not in this alone, that human companionship matters, we don’t have to bear this alone.

    “You will be hated by everyone because of me” is not a great motivational speech to release missionaries, but a great warning. Jesus follows these words with some comfort: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” Combined, these statements remind us that this human form has a great purpose, but is only temporary. We are spiritual beings temporarily occupying human form. Be careful not to slip into some mystical religion with this thought! Many religions get lost in this concept by focusing too much on the spiritual nature of our existence.

    We have much work to do. Lord help us to make more disciples every day and carry your light to this dark world.

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