TEXT: Matthew 9:35-38
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Warren Wiersbe said, “Not only did Jesus heal, He also taught and preached. But He could not do the work alone—He needed others to help Him. He requested that His disciples pray that God would provide the needed workers. It was not long before the disciples themselves were involved in the ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. In the same way, when we pray as He commanded, we will see what He saw, feel what He felt, and do what He did. God will multiply our lives as we share in the great harvest that is already ripe.”
This passage and the preceding account of Jesus healing the dumb man remind us of our important duty to bring others to Jesus. The way we do this is modeled by our Savior himself. The text says, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages.” He had an expansive ministry. No place was too small or too insignificant for Him to visit, as long as it was within God’s plan for Him at the time. Sometimes, we have hang-ups about evangelism in different contexts. We let our own prejudices and fears get in the way of ministry. Some churches don’t reach out to the inner city, or the prison system, or communities of a different race, ethnicity, or economic standing. Why? It’s not because they have figured these people don’t need Jesus, but because they have justified their own insulation by feelings of superiority, inbred racism, or a desire to keep the status quo. Sadly, some people won’t take the Gospel to certain arenas because they turn up their noses at what they see as places of ministry that they see as “too small” for them to minister in.
But Jesus had no such hangups. He went everywhere telling folks that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand — whether to the lowly, uneducated Galileans, the more well-to-do and religiously observant Judeans, or the outcast half-breed Samaritans. Jesus taught in their synagogues, preached the gospel of the kingdom, and addressed the felt needs of the people. Let’s briefly take a closer look at how Jesus drew people to Himself and how we can point people to Him as well.
1. Jesus taught. John Gill said, “[The synagogues] were places of public worship, where prayer was made, the law and the prophets were read, and a word of exhortation given to the people.” When Jesus taught in a synagogue, He drew from the Old Testament scriptures which the people were already familiar with in order to show them how God wanted them to live today. Likewise, we can bring people to Jesus by teaching from the Word of God and showing how it applies to daily life.
2. Jesus preached the Gospel. This might sound obvious, but teaching from Scripture and preaching the Gospel are not always the same. As Gill points out, when Jesus preached the Gospel, He spoke of “the good news and glad tidings of peace and pardon, reconciliation and salvation, by himself the Messiah. He spoke of all things relating to the Gospel dispensation; the doctrines of grace, which concern both the kingdom of grace and glory; particularly the doctrine of regeneration, and the necessity of having a better righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.” If we are to bring people to Jesus, we must be careful to clearly define and clearly communicate what the Gospel is — that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
3. Jesus addressed people’s physical needs. Because God made the body and not just the soul, He is very concerned about our physical lives here on earth. Jesus demonstrated this by providing for people’s physical needs — healing the sick, casting out demons, and providing food to the hungry. If we are to demonstrate the full range of God’s love and compassion to the lost, we must show that we care about the well-being of the whole person.
Bringing others to Jesus is not a special work for a select few; it is something every believer is called to do. And all of us can do that in some form by teaching, preaching the Gospel, and meeting the needs of others.
Salathial C. Kirk wrote:
By the lip, the leaf, the pen,
Speed the Gospel tidings on
To the waiting hearts of men.
What you have to give or say,
Give it now, and say today.
Sow a little wayside talk;
Sow a sunny daily walk—
God will watch and nurse the stalk.
Only do the planting thou—
Do it early, do it now.
By the purse, the prayer, the song,
Send the blessèd Word along,
Into every land and tongue;
Whatever it be, or how,
Do it early, do it now.
True and steady to the chart,
Hand in hand and heart to heart,
Let us do a hero’s part.
Some may sow and some may plow,
Do it early, do it now.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.