Praise the Lord, we have once more been blessed with a harvest of food to eat. On the Lord's Day, 3rd November 2013, our annual harvest thanksgiving services took place.
At The morning meeting Pastor Glenn Walters preached on "The Lord of the Harvest" from Matthew 9:35-38. In the providence of God the message failed to record, so here are a few notes from a listener.
Have you ever seen something that others don't see? Perhaps a picture hidden in a mosaic of colours and shapes? Some can see it whilst others can not. However, at other times it is selective vision. You choose to see or not to see. Usually it is sin that causes us to do this. I can remember a group of lepers sitting by the road side. I choose not to see them and walked past as if they were not their. I choose not to see them, and know that was wrong. We must learn from this type of experience. Closely related to this is choosing who to be friendly with, or even who you talk to. In our passage what we have is the Lord Jesus Christ seeing the multitude, and having compassion on them.
1. He Saw.
In Habakkuk we read that God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." You need to appreciate that God is holy. He swears by his holiness. Holy and reverend is almighty God. He is the one who we should fall prostrate before. Yet for all that God still sent his only begotten son into this world. God Incarnate, to seek and to save that which is lost. Surly Jesus in his holiness had good reason to to look away from from sinners, from people like us., but he did not. We read that he saw and was moved with compassion. Every single one of that multitude was a hell deserving sinner. Do you recognise this difference? We are sinful, he is holy. You can look as this scene with sentimentality, but first I want you to see that Jesus is pure and holy. Christian, be amazed that Jesus ever set eyes upon you. What a testimony to the love of God.
2. Jesus had compassion.
In verse 36 the people are weary and fainting. That is what sin does to people. But Jesus did not come to condemn them as sinners, but to save. Jesus saw the sin, yet we often read of his compassion. Think of the vast crowd without food. Christ fed them. It always amazes me when I read of him crossing the sea of Galilee for one demon possessed man. He came and called individuals by name. Out of the dung of sin he raises them up. His instruction was to go home and tell how great things the Lord has done for thee and had compassion on thee. In Mark 1:41 we read of a leper who came to Christ and how Jesus was moved with compassion and then he touched the leper.
In our text we have a perfect example of being in the world, but not of the world. Jesus Christ came down from heaven, but he did not hide himself away in a monastery. He came amongst the crowds of people and was moved with compassion. Be honest, how do you respond to people? Perhaps it is sometimes with judgement? But you are to love your enemy. This is something which you need to pray about. Christ is our divine example. These people were the enemies of the Lord and still he had compassion. It is easy to love family friends, but beyond that, are you selective?
3. Pray For Labourers For The Lord's Harvest
The world has a population of over 7 billion people. Most of whom are going to hell. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us, in Matthew 7:13-14, that wide is the gate and many there be that go in, but narrow is the way and few that go to eternal life, even so in Matthew 9:37, we learn that the harvest is plenteous. These people need to hear the gospel message. They are ripe for the harvest. In Matthew 9:38 we learn that the harvest belongs to the Lord, it is God who sends labourers, he is sovereign in this work. Does this mean that you are to sit back and do nothing? No, you are called upon to be witnesses for Jesus, but, it is not a glamorous job reaching out to lost sinners, telling of God's love manifest in the cross. Going out with is message can bring persecution and even death. We must look to the Lord to send forth his message. Hudson Taylor called upon Christians to pray for a deepening of the Spiritual life in the church so that men will be unable to stay at home. He taught that being spiritual involved going and telling others about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is a harvest field here. Clearly the Lord uses human agency. he does not need you, but it pleases him to use the foolishness of preaching to reach lost sinners with the gospel. So go out from here and see people, have compassion on them. Ultimately this means to tell them of the message of Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord of the Harvest that he would raise up labourers unto the harvest.
Christian friend, pray for a harvest of fruit in your life. Pray that you will sow seeds of truth. What are you here for? Surly it is to tell others about Christ.
Perhaps you are here and very conscious of a sense of weariness and sin? Jesus said come unto me and I will give you rest. Are you a sheep without a shepherd? Come to the good shepherd today. Then with the psalmist you will be able to say, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The evening message was recorded and is available to listen to or download: