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.
Alexander Maclaren said, “Jesus was moved with the eye of God, and the heart of a man. Pity belongs to the idea of divinity; compassion belongs to the idea of divinity incarnate; and the motion that passed across His heart is the motion that I would seek may pass, with its sweet and healing breath, across yours and mine. The right emotion for a Christian looking on the Christless crowds is pity, not aversion; pity, not anger; pity, not curiosity; pity, not indifference. How many of us walk the streets of the towns in which our lot is cast, and never know one touch of that emotion?”
I think we all would agree on the importance of bringing others to Jesus. However, at times, there is often disagreement on how we should go about this all-important and necessary work. However, in this passage, we learn from Jesus how to bring people to Himself. First, we teach the ways of God springing from what our audience already knows. Paul did this when he visited Mars Hill and spoke to an audience familiar with worldly philosophy. Second, we preach the Gospel and the declare the arrival of God’s kingdom. Third, we do what we can to meet the physical needs of those we are seeking to bring to Christ.
These three aspects of bringing others to Jesus can be carried out through the activity of our mouths and our bodies. However, there is another important element in this great work, and that is the condition of our heart. Jesus’ example shows us the type of heart we ought to have in this work. Verse 36 reads, “When Jesus saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them…” Too often, we approach evangelism from a standpoint of judgmentalism. We offer the water of life with turned up nose, handing it to sinners out of a long-handled spoon.
The Greek word translated as compassion means: “to be moved as to one’s bowels, to have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).” When we share the Gospel and when we care for others, we ought to do it out of love for God and our neighbors. When we see people ‘fainting and scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd,’ our response ought to be one of pity and compassion. Why? Because, if it were not for the saving grace of Christ, we would still be lost, wandering through life with no direction and no hope. We were once as they are now.
Compassion, however, is not something that comes easily. We must pray to God to give us a heart like Christ and then choose to love and be concerned and compassionate towards others. We must practice it on purpose. Kerilee Van Schooten, a Church Evangelism Research and Ministries Coordinator at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, said, “Cultivating the ability to empathize with others leads to greater effectiveness in all forms of communication, including evangelism. In fact, Jesus himself models this as he empathizes with our brokenness. The fact that Jesus stepped into our world and chose to humble himself is exactly what paves the way for us to understand God and approach his throne of grace with confidence. This same dynamic is true for us as we reach out to others with the gospel. As we engage those who don’t know Jesus and humble ourselves to empathize with their weaknesses, God becomes more approachable for them.”
We won’t be effective in bringing people to Jesus with a spirit of arrogance, pride, or judgmentalism. People can detect if we really care for them or if we simply think we are better than them. If we are serious about bringing people to Jesus, we must pray for a compassionate heart and practice compassion, empathy, love, and pity in all of our dealings.
Carrie E. Breck wrote:
Are you winning souls for Jesus,
As you travel on your way?
Are you telling His salvation
Every hour of every day?
Are you winning souls for Jesus,
Doing all that you can do,
Living out the blessed Gospel
As He hath commanded you?
Are you winning souls for Jesus?
Does your life example prove
Him to be the precious Savior
Sacrificed because of love?
Are you winning souls for Jesus,
Precious souls for whom He died?
Are you loyal to the Master,
Who for you was crucified?
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.