And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion (You could insert love here.) 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.”
- Jesus is ministering to needy people. We see that all the time.
- Jesus is healing people in miraculous ways. That too is typical of Him.
- Jesus has great compassion or love for these people. Jesus attracted all kinds of different people to Himself, including people who were on the margins and who didn’t fit with a holy man like He was – “prostitutes, tax collectors and ‘sinners’.”
- He recognized a great spiritual harvest that was ready to be gathered in.
- Jesus doesn’t ask them to pray for a bigger harvest. Certainly He wanted a big harvest. If great numbers of angels rejoice in heaven when just one lost sheep returns to the fold how much would they rejoice if thousands or millions do? But apparently the size of the harvest, which definitely mattered to Him, wasn’t the biggest issue. We always think the bigger the better and put most, if not all, of our emphasis there. However, that wasn’t Jesus’ way.
- Jesus asks for them to pray for more workers. Jesus’ concern was that there wouldn’t be enough workers to gather in this great harvest. The workers are obviously you and me. Jesus’ concern is that, for whatever reason, we won’t go out into the fields. His prayer is that we will.