The God Who Sends: A Sermon Recap
Throughout most of chapters eight and nine from Matthew’s Gospel, we watch as Jesus performs numerous miracles. He established the scope of His power over nature, health, humanity, death, and evil spirits. We then receive the following description of how He did ministry.
35 Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
In the description in verse 35, we see that God has sent Jesus on a mission that is personal, public, spiritual, and physical. He teaches to interact personally. He preaches to proclaim publicly and boldly that the kingdom of God has arrived. He heals diseases to show compassion to those in pain. Since we are not equal to Jesus, the issue stands as to how we might join Jesus in His mission. We should take what He did and work from there. Though not holding divine power, we can follow our Lord by conversing personally, proclaiming boldly, and interacting compassionately. The Father sent the Son and we should follow in His ways.
It is evident that God’s heart is broken for the lost. Verse 36 tells us how Jesus viewed the crowds: as if they were sheep without the kindness of a shepherd. God understands that our lives are in a dire nature. Emergencies dance on a hair trigger. Relationships are in jeopardy. Our lives our aimless. Jesus is deeply concerned for us. It should affect how the Christian engages God’s mission. Compassion is a requirement for the Christian life. Compassion will change our view of people so that we can follow God’s mission. The degree to which you align your heart with God for the salvation of others is the degree to which you will engage in God’s mission for them.
The statement we receive from Jesus in verses 37-38 is clear that He wants to engage us in His work. The Lord says that the harvest is plentiful but there are not enough workers. But we look around our congregations and see lots of workers. So what is the problem? Simple. The workers are not working. We must pray for His provisions and prepare to be His provisions for the harvest.
In “God Who Sends,” Francis DuBose began his book with this statement:
The Christian life is a spiritual pilgrimage. It is not a journey to a shrine which has limitation of space and time. It is a journey into life, a life so rich no limitation of space and time is able to contain it. Jesus came on a pilgrimage to earth to give us life. He said, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10). This life, which he brings to us and which has its source in the Heavenly Father, is inexhaustible in its meaning. And this life he has invite us to share. This invitation into life, moreover, is an invitation to share the good news of that life with others. We join him in his pilgrimage, a journey into the glories of his kingdom, into the beauties of his family, into the limitless love of his outreached arms. He calls us into partnership, to explore with him his purpose for life and humanity. This is why he came. This is why he was sent. His sense of mission was inseparable from his self-identity. The stamp of his identity upon us leaves indelibly the imprint of his missional purpose upon our image. This the New Testament makes clear. Jesus said, ‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you’ (John 20:21).
We live a beautiful existence. In the midst of the normal paces of life, we are called to join God in His eternally-altering ministry. Today, make it the great priority of your heart, your mind, and your whole existence.