Tunstall APO Sunday pm 14th Sept. 2008
Place: Tunstall Apo. Date: Sunday pm 14th Sept. 2008.
Text: Matthew 9:35. Theme: Harvest time.
Introduction: Reading: Matthew 9:35-38.
“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” Matthew 9:35.
I heard a story a while ago, it goes something like this:
Some walkers passing a large field stopping to speak to the farmer by the roadside,
Q1. They asked him if he kept cattle on his farm, he answers no, because he had heard of some farms that had suffered with “mad cow disease.” And he did not want all that trouble.
Q2. They then asked him if he used his land for horse riding and stables, he again answered no, he was afraid that some one would get hurt and sue him.
Q3. So then they asked him did he grow any crops on his land, again he said no, because of last years bad weather that destroyed some farms crops.
Q4. Again they asked him, what was his expected harvest that year? Sadly he thought and said he had forgotten about a harvest.
It is still the same in the Spiritual world and church growth. See if we do not make a start to plant the seed and water it, there can be no harvest.
When Jesus walked this earth 2,000 years ago, it was in a physical body. He spent His time moving about, going where people were and meeting their needs. Jesus never sat back and waited for the people to come to Him, He went out where the people were. How did Jesus Himself win people?
1st POINT: HE WAS MOVED BY “COMPASSION” FOR ALL MEN.
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them” Matthew 9:36a.
What did Jesus see? Not just a group of people, not just a crowd. He saw the souls and hearts of men and women. He looked beyond their faults and saw their needs. Let us pray that we can have a heart of compassion for all men.
Then Jesus was moved with compassion, the word compassion is used in the gospels only to describe Jesus…it means “stirred at the deepest level.”
1. This means he did not just see a man with leprosy, but He felt His pain and rejection, loneliness and isolation.
2. He did not just see a man whose daughter had died, but felt his sorrow and bereavement.
3. He saw His broken heart, and even better, His heart broke right along with him!
4. And Jesus did not look on an adulterous woman in the judgmental way has we do, but rather in love and compassionate forgiveness, wiping her slate clean!
How about you? When you see someone living in sin, does it hurt you, or does it move you with compassion? Anyone can be saved, and the worse your life is, the more you have to be forgiven for. There are many looking for someone to really love them; so it might as well be you and me.
Oh that we would see every person as a potential convert for Christ.
2ND POINT: THE “CONDITION” OF MEN.
“Because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” Matthew 9:36b.
The Bible compares people to sheep:
Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray.”
Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd.”
Matthew 9, it is a picture of sheep that have been attacked by a wild animal. They are apart from the flock, alone, and have no shepherd. Sinners without Jesus are like sheep without a shepherd. Without Jesus they have no protection.
Remember that when the Bible calls us sheep, that is not a compliment. We may think, oh, what cute and cuddly little fluff balls. But sheep are not swift, sheep are not smart, they are dumb, defenseless, and directionless. Congratulations, that is us today! Without a shepherd, sheep will wander aimlessly for days until they get lost or die.
Jesus salvation has given me direction! A purpose in life, a reason to live. Fulfillment is something I enjoy now because I know where I came from, I know why I am here, and where I am going.
Look at this world, people blindly following each other, and they are all in a hurry, but none of them really knows where they came from, why they are here, or where they are going. Everybody’s in hurry but nobody knows where they are going! Make Jesus your shepherd and He will give you not only protection, but direction for life!
3RD POINT: THE “COMMISSION” FOR US ALL.
“Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” Matthew 9:37-38.
Jesus changes the illustration and uses a different figure of speech to make His powerful point. Now He moves from the flock to the field.
The FLOCK is the picture that we need God!
The FIELD is the picture that God needs to use us!
I do not know exactly why God has chosen to spread the gospel using us, but He has. And here is the problem. It is harvest time, the crops are ready, and there is a world of opportunity. But there is a shortage of labourers to bring it all into the barn!
There is a great harvest of people out there, looking for something, looking for someone who is real to bring it to them! God’s method for recruiting workers is prayer. Pray for laborers! And do not be surprised if, while you are praying, God lays it on your heart to be the answer to that prayer!
The end of chapter 9 the Lord says to pray for laborers, then in chapter 10 the Lord calls the very ones who were praying about it, and He sent them out. Having a burden and praying will lead to compassion, and motivation to answer the call ourselves, as God leads.
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them.”