Why invest time, money and effort in fulfilling the mission of Jesus? Jesus’ teaching to his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38 is often and rightly highlighted: “He [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”
The vision of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is “to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.” In pursuit of that, FCA sends workers into the harvest field of sports. But if we are going to grow as disciples of Jesus, we must understand the context of this mission.
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36, NIV). We are told the sight of crowds moved Jesus to compassion. In its original language, this strong word indicates deep, heartbreaking pain. It’s only used in the gospels when referring to or quoting Jesus. Why such compassion?
By describing the crowd as “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,” Scripture uses Old Testament imagery relating the crowds to Israel who rejected God and lived without his leadership. Again, the original language is strong: “harassed” means “flayed, mangled and with skin ripped off,” “helpless” means “thrown down.” Jesus’ heart is broken for the crowds; He sees them as sheep in the process of being destroyed by wolves in their lives. This is an important lesson for us.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Graham Daniels