Christ’s public ministry moves forward with even more miracles. He ends with a prayer request for us, to pray for laborers that will help with the spiritual harvest.
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.”
Christ had compassion on the shepherdless crowds who were harassed and helpless. In response he asked us to pray, and so this is what we are doing. He alone is their true Shepherd, their Good Shepherd and Chief Shepherd.
There are multitudes who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of who he is and what he has done. There are multitudes more who need to hear it again, who need to be reminded or given one more opportunity to respond.
None of us can accomplish this task alone. Please, heavenly Father, send out laborers. As Jesus pointed out, the harvest is truly plentiful and the laborers few. Send out laborers into this great harvest field. Let their labors lead to the increase of your church. Let their labors be used to build your church. Let eternity be filled with more people brought into your family as a result of the laborers that you send out in response to our prayers. Let disciples be multiplied and the knowledge of your word be increased. And let your name be glorified throughout all ages as a result.
18While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
When Christ called his first disciples to follow him, he let them know that their primary focus would change. Instead of catching fish they would now catch people, drawing others into a relationship with you through Jesus Christ.
How appropriate that some of your first followers did this kind of work! They knew what it was to try to bring in a catch. Sometimes they failed and sometimes they met with amazing success. There was even a time when they fished all night and caught nothing until the risen Christ advised them. When they listened to him, they caught more than they could bring into the boat.
Just as no fisherman ever catches all the fish in the sea, there will be many who will not listen to the call that we put out for them. Still, there will be many others who will and it is for these that you have sent us.
Remind us continually that this is our first priority. We are to go and make disciples of all the nations. Help us to no longer live for ourselves, but for you. Let the Holy Spirit advise us now just as Jesus did those tired disciples. Let us see souls won for Christ and disciples multiplied. Let us not only see converts but see those won to you who will then make disciples of others.
And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, believing that this is your will for us.
Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christ
Part 9 of 14
When Jesus Left, he left the church with something to do – make disciples of all the nations.
Tomorrow evening we will get together for Week 7 of 12 in our “Make Disciples.” series. Below you will find links to an overview of the full 12 weeks and for the seventh area on the map, Engaging God’s World: Mission.
During the 12 weeks, we are addressing areas on a comprehensive discipleship map. After discussing each area, we will try to establish Milestones that would provide evidence of personal spiritual growth – markers that we work toward.