Matthew 9-10 Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest

From Matthew 9-10

40 41 42 43 Gospel Jesus is risen Christ thumbJesus continues in his gospel ministry. He teaches about the kingdom and ushers it in with supernatural healing. People are putting their faith in him. At the end of today’s passage Jesus instructs his disciples to pray. To ask the LORD to raise up more workers. There is so much work to be done.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

Jesus ministry involves proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, teaching what it means to live in the kingdom and healing a great many people. His fame is spreading and he is drawing great crowds to himself (Mt 4.23-25).

Just before today’s passage Jesus was alluding to his death and teaching the people about the new way people will live in his kingdom. Now we get a glimpse of his healing ministry.

His kingdom is breaking into the world.

18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. (Mt 9.18-19)

The man is bold and asks Jesus to come and bring his daughter back to life. He has faith in Jesus that he can raise the dead.

Jesus is humble and compassionate. He goes to the rulers house without a word.

40 woman touching robe20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. (Mt 9.20-22)

The woman approaches in secret. Her discharge would have made her permanently unclean according to the law of Moses. She touched Jesus and normally he would be made unclean himself as a result. But the reverse happens! She is healed. She is made clean.

Jesus knows she has touched him and recognised her healing saying, ‘Your faith has made you well’. The verb ‘well’ (as in, ‘made you well‘) can also be rendered ‘saved’. I think she was saved by her faith in Jesus as well as healed of her discharge.

Do you have faith in Jesus? Do you want to be made well?

23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district. (Mt 9.23-26)

They laughed at him‘. Its strange that this happened considering the circumstances. It was normal for a crowd of people to be hired by rich families to publicly grieve the loss. The crowd doesn’t care less about the girl or her family which is why they were able to laugh.

Jesus demonstrates his authority over death itself, by raising the girl to life.

40 Jesus heals blind man27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district. (Mt 9.27-31)

The blind men recognise Jesus is a descendant of David, and probably the promised Christ. Like the ruler and the woman before, these men also have faith in Jesus. According to their faith they are healed.

The gospel exhorts its listeners to have faith.

Despite Jesus’ attempt to keep it quiet, the men spread his fame.

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” (Mt 9.32-35)

Jesus also displays his authority over the demonic powers. The man was brought to him. Probably by his friends and/or family. They are the ones with faith in Jesus.

Jesus casts out the demon without a word and the people recognise how unique Jesus is and what he is doing. The opposing Pharisees do not recognise Jesus is from God.

40 workers harvest35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mt 9.35-38)

Jesus continues his ministry. He sees more and more crowds of harassed and helpless people.

Under the influence of demons, godless authorities, sin, sickness and death.

Jesus will soon go to his death. The disciples of course will continue in his ministry. But he realises many more need to serve God in the harvest.

About Jesus

“Matthew’s introduction of Jesus the teacher and miracle worker is complete. Now the author turns his attention to the disciples’ responsibility to teach and heal as Jesus did and to Jesus’ further efforts to teach the kingdom of God to Israel. According to the author, the situation is critical. The crowds (Israel) are “harassed and helpless” because they are badly led and in danger of being lost like an ungathered harvest. Only Jesus’ compassion for them and the advent of new workers sent by God will result in their being gathered and preserved.” (Saldarini, A.J., 2003. Matthew. In J. D. G. Dunn & J. W. Rogerson, eds. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, p. 1023.)

Jesus exhorts them and us to pray to God and ask him raise up more gospel workers.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.