35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on 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 workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:35-38)
It’s not a harvest problem. It’s a worker problem. The problem is not “the church” and all the complaints we can lodge against “the church.” The problem, dear friend, is us.
We need our eyes UP (toward Jesus, who know our needs and is more than able to supply) and OUT (toward others) so we can see our true Supply, our true Power, and then be a conduit of the Kingdom for those who are hurting. The harassed are all around. Lord, help us to see!
Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable of the ten coins (or talents).
The question I come away with in this parable is this: Am I conducting myself in the way my Master would conduct business? Have I paid enough attention to what he has said that I know how to live life while he is away?
The servants all knew the master. They knew what to do. Two followed the pattern. One didn’t. One decided he would live in fear. Life in the Kingdom is life on the edge. You have to put things on the line and risk in order to gain. The third servant feared the loss more than he anticipated the gain. He decided NOT to walk in the manner of his master… and lost.
Are we following the footsteps of our Master? Are we conducting Kingdom business in his pattern? Are we living in a way that utilizes the Kingdom’s power to its fullest? Are we living in trust because we know the Father?
Conduct yourself in the manner of the One who left you to do HIS task. It is HIS work… not ours.
In Matthew 6 we get those verse that talk about trusting God for the basics of life. What to wear, what to eat, etc. Trust him. Easier said than done, I know.
Wow, do I know! I live in more anxiety than I’m willing to admit! (And I happen to be admitting some, so just think…)
So, how do we get to that place of trust?
Three key areas in the beginning of Matthew 6 may give us some help:
This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is connected in an interesting way. When we learn the joys and discipline of giving, praying, and fasting (along with other tools of spiritual formation) we will find that place of trust.
These verses are a place I will probably visit again this Sunday in our time at church.
Let’s DIG IN to the Word!
Matthew 8 is bold. Jesus touches the leper. The rule of the day was to quarantine the “unclean” because if the “unclean” touched the “clean,” the “clean” would become infected.
Jesus reverses the effect. The Kingdom is about reversal. As Dallas Willard points out, that’s the whole point of the Beatitudes. It is demonstrating that no one is beyond Kingdom blessing. Jesus demonstrates it when he heals the leper. The leper called out for healing, and Jesus responded. It wasn’t just a word spoken. It was a touch. What the leper didn’t expect he received. He didn’t just receive healing, he received blessing.
We live in a germophobic world. Hand sanitizer is everywhere because we are afraid of catching the flu. There are seasons in Minnesota when we don’t shake hands or hug… okay, in Minnesota hugs are just rare in general… but even handshakes are almost outlawed because we fear. Sometimes we fear in good way.
But the Kingdom demonstrates something new. The clean actually can infect the unclean! It’s not “normal.”
The power of the Kingdom is infectious. We need to be more contagious!