Matthew 9:35-38


The Service of the Lord (Matt. 9:35) Jesus is about this ministry and gives us this example in Matt. 4:23-25
The Status of the Lost (Matt. 9:36)
a. Grasp their size.
Galilee– most scholars believe that the number of people that Jesus looked out upon was nearly 3 million people. Galilee was made up of 200 cities and villages at this time.
Pearl River County– 55, 387 people according to the 2018 stats. We have 42 SBC churches in our county. Let’s go even further and say that we have 84 evangelical churches in our county. That would be 84 churches that preach and teach that Christ is the only way to salvation and they share the gospel. The latest stats show that out of those 55 thousand people, only 26 thousand say they were Bible believing Christians. 2 thousand identified as other, which would be a cult or another religion. So it’s possible to say that more than 22 thousand people in Pearl River County do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Of course we can’t know for sure, this could be more or less. We don’t know. It should hurt our heart if one doesn’t know Jesus!
The World– 7 billion people, maybe 1/3 are Christians, that’s a very liberal estimate. So that more than 4.5 billion without Christ! That’s 4.5 billion and maybe more who are on a road to eternal separation from God to Hell unless we do something about it.
b. Grow in sympathy. We must grow in our sympathy of their eternal suffering if we do not act. Jesus is concerned about people. Not numbers, but actual fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, co-workers, and cousins! He loves them. He hurt with “compassion” for these people. The Greek word here for compassion is that Jesus literally felt “agony” over these people. The road without Christ pursuing worldly gain is empty. Do we hurt to know that many will go to Hell if we do nothing? Do you care?
c.Gain awareness of their separation. In verse 37, Jesus uses the word “harvest.” In some context, especially in Joel, the use of harvest means judgement. (Joel 3:13-14) “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” If Jesus is meaning evangelism in this text or if He is meaning judgement, Jesus is referring to a separation that the lost will eternally encounter if no one rescues them. Listen to what Matt. 13:42 “and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Why is Jesus so graphic about Hell? I believe because He sees the reality of it. Jonathan Edwards was best known for his graphic description of Hell in his sermon “In the Hands of an Angry God.” Most of Edwards’ sermons were about a loving God who didn’t want any to perish. He gave glimpse upon glimpse of an amazing Heaven with Christ. If we are going to run a rescue station from Hell, we’ve got to see the reality of the separation people face by not knowing Jesus!
The Situation with Laborers (Matt. 9:37) The people who could be saved is great, yet the number of those who will share the gospel is few. Jesus does something in verse 38 that gives us great hope. Great hope for the church and great hope for the lost.
The Solution from the Lord (Matt. 9:38) So I want us to feel the gravity of two words that Christ used in this verse. The first word is to “pray.” This is the discipline of communicating with God concerning the sending of workers for Jesus. In doing so we are working! Prayer is the frontline spiritual warfare work that is needed. It’s a dependence upon God for salvation and for the messengers of salvation. There are no superficial gimmicks, just pure reliance upon Christ! One way that you and I can adamantly participate in this labor is to pray! How can we pray?
1. Pray for…
a. A spiritual awareness of the condition of the lost.
b. A sacrificial obedience to the commission of Christ.
The second word in this verse is the word “send.” The verb ekballō really means to drive out, to push out, to draw out with violence. Prayer is the remedy given by Jesus in this crisis for more gospel laborers. Sometimes God literally has to push or force a man into the ministry who resists his known duty.
2 .To send
a.That we would be courageous to go make disciples.
b.That we would be compassionate for the places that are uncomfortable.
c. That we would be continuously devoted to a life of sending out others.