I’ve been reading through Matthew’s gospel lately. I’ve already read it several times over the years, but I keep finding things I never noticed before.
That Matthew… he was a tax-collector by occupation, you know. Methodical, detail-oriented, a good record-keeper — exactly like I’m not. Still, I appreciate the detail he put into his accounts of Jesus’ time on earth.
At the end of Chapter 9, he describes a period when Jesus had been healing a lot of sick people and freeing others from demons. Then he logs the words Jesus said to his disciples, while looking over a harassed, helpless crowd. With compassion, Jesus said: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (vv.37-38).
Just between you and me, that has always been my “bailout” verse. Don’t get me wrong; I care about people and all. I will cheerfully fix meals, donate toward charity, run errands or watch a neighbor’s children. But I’m not very good at telling them about God’s love. I tend to stammer. Or I somehow manage to come across as “holier-than-thou,” which I know better than to think I really am. Fear of making a poor impression cements my lips together.
So instead of feeling responsible for sharing God’s love, I can just ask God to send somebody else to do it. Right?
Well, Matthew busted that little bubble for me the other morning. I was about to start Chapter 10, but went back to re-read the verses leading into it, about asking God to send out workers. Then, the very next thing Matthew records is Jesus calling those same twelve disciples together. He reports that Jesus gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matt. 10:1, emphasis mine. I mean, the word just sort of jumped out at me).
What’s this? Jesus tells the Twelve to pray for more workers, then he turns around and tells them, “You’re it?”
Sure looks like it.
Maybe, when I pray about some need, I should make sure I am willing to be part of the answer.
Thanks for reading,
PS: At Finding Heaven, Jen shares refreshing thoughts and encouragement with the Soli Deo Gloria sisters and everyone else! Stop by if you have a few minutes.