On Being A Sheep
Readings: Matthew 9:32-38
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” ~Matthew 9:37,38
Wow. For being only 6 verses, there’s a lot in this one! To start off with, we have a demon-possessed man who was mute and could only speak once Jesus drove the demon out. We have a crowd being amazed by what they’d seen: “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” We have an increasingly indignant batch of rabid Pharisees that have decided that “it is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
Then there’s Jesus Himself, travelling around teaching, proclaiming the Kingdom, and healing. We have Jesus showing compassion to the crowds because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then there’s the oft-quoted scripture passage above about the harvest being plentiful, but the workers few.
Do you ever feel like a sheep without a shepherd? Sheep can be kind of silly sometimes. My cousin and I used to chase my Grandpa’s sheep around outside the house and then run to the other side to scare them into running the other way. That was naughty, I know. The sheep analogy is a bit uncomfortable, though, because I recognise myself in there somewhere: I need a shepherd more often than not; and I think we all know what kind of harvest Jesus was talking about, and who, in fact, the “workers” are.
Re-read these verses again. Do you find yourself in any of these people: have you been healed lately? Are you part of the awe-struck crowd? Are you a Pharisee…or a sheep? The world is the harvest-field and the harvest is still plentiful; are you ready to be a worker?? Let’s do this!!
Dear Lord, thank you for the continuing relevance of your Word. We confess that we still see ourselves as needing Jesus’ ministry. We need you now more than ever, and we pray for willing spirits that we can be the workers to go out into our world’s harvest field for Christ. Amen.