Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart.png

Matthew 9:36-38: Compassion Driven Calling:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.' ” [1]

What condition were these crowds in that they would have sparked a compassionate reaction from Christ, the Good Shepherd? [2] They were “oppressed” by “the burdens which the Pharisees place upon them (Matt. 11:28; 15:14; 23:4).” [3] These individuals were lied to by their religious leaders and those lies were causing suffering in their lives. (Perhaps you can relate.) But how does Jesus’ response communicate compassion? Because He sees their real need. Christ did heal sicknesses, [4] provide food, [5] and out of compassion raises the dead. [6] But Jesus’ compassion is more than humanitarian because He cares for and redeems souls. [7] Christ’s care is seen in that He wants God to send out workers so that the elect may be drawn into fellowship with the Father. [8]

How does this passage apply to us? All of us will be gathered, for salvation or condemnation. [9] In grace, God is still harvesting and will harvest you if you surrender yourself to Him as your exclusive means of salvation. [10] If you are a believer, you have been promised that you will be harvested for salvation, [11] and now are called to work in Christ’s fields for His glory. [12] May the Lord of the harvest continue to empower His laborers.

This blog was written by Seth Dunn

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Logos Bible Software.

[2] John 10:11.

[3] Hendriksen, William. Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1987), 439, and Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 1. Trams. William Pringle. )Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984), 420.

[4] For example, Mark 1:41, Matthew 14:14, and 20:34.

[5] See Matthew 14:13-21, 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10, etc.

[6] Luke 7:11-17, John 11 (particularly verses 41-42).

[7] Matthew 1:21, Mark 2:17; 6:34, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 3:1-5.

[8] Matthew 9:38, on the harvest referring to gathering souls please see Isaiah 27:12, Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17; 10:2, John 4:35, Revelation 14:15, The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version Containing the Old and New Testaments. General Editor R.C. Sproul, Associate Editor Keith Mathison. (Orlando, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005), 1863, note on Revelation 14:14-20, and Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 1, 421.

[9] Matthew 13:24-30.

[10] Hebrew 3:15-4:1-13.

[11] Jeremiah 31:14-33, Romans 8:31-39, Philippians 1:6, 2 Peter 1:10.

[12] Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8; 14:21-23, Romans 15:19-24, 2 Timothy 2:1-2