“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
Over the last three days, we have looked at biblical stories Jesus told using visual aids to make His point. Today, we look at one more from Matthew 9:36. Jesus was specifically talking about the need for workers as He traveled from town to town and village to village. He was teaching and preaching the Good News about the Kingdom.
In verses 37-38, He 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 the field.” In this story, Jesus is not talking about the actual harvest, but rather the “lost.”
Matthew 9:36 says, “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
As Jesus was speaking to them, it says He had compassion on them. From the verses that follow, it is clear this is not a couple of people, but many people. Jesus was traveling from town to town, village to village. The issue He was speaking about was an issue EVERYWHERE! Jesus saw that there were a lot of sheep without a shepherd.
If you know anything about sheep, you know they would be lost without a shepherd, without someone watching over them, reigning them back in. They need guidance. And that was Jesus’ point. We need God in the same way the sheep need a shepherd. In a broken world, He is the one who keeps us from wandering off and going astray.
Yet, that is exactly where so many people find themselves even today. They ignore His teachings, and they do what they want to do. Then they wander off and wonder why they are where they are or even how they ended up there. They need a shepherd!
But there is also a need for “more workers in the fields.” Jesus told the disciples this because they had a part to play. As so many sheep (people) wander astray, it is the disciples who should be there for them and keep them on track.
And you know what? The same is true for us today. As disciples of Christ, it is our job to see when a loved one, a friend, or someone we interact with regularly has “gone astray.” Jesus needs you to be workers in His fields!