“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’” (Matt. 9:35-37, NKJV)
Jesus came to set captives free and bring spiritual healing to broken humanity. Harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, describes what Jesus saw in the crowds as He went from town to town.
With His Good News—the gospel—Jesus introduced hope in the middle of hopelessness. People no longer had to live in fear or shame. A new kind of life had become possible.
Unwilling for things to remain as they were, Jesus responded with compassionate action. He challenged His disciples to get involved without judging or blaming others, to be laborers in His “harvest” (v. 38).
Jesus did this by introducing the Good News of God’s irresistible love and grace. The same challenge Christ faced—to set people free—is ours, and the need is greater than ever.
Where sin increases, grace overflows. May this be a time of overflowing grace as we pray and act, and may we be moved to compassion as we see people the way Jesus sees them.
Prayer + Reflection
1. Pray that God will show us His heart for this generation and give us the keys to touch others’ hearts.
2. Pray that our churches will become centers of hope for spiritually hungry people.
3. Pray that we as leaders will continue to grow in spiritual and emotional health.