Matt. 9:36-38 – Pray for laborers.

Luke 10:2 – Pray for laborers.

John 4:35 – Do not say it is four months until the harvest.


In 1966 or 1967, I was a member of Landmark Baptist Church of O’Fallon, Missouri, and was asked by the pastor, Brother Jerry Asberry, to bring a devotion, which I did; using Matthew 28:18-20 for a text.  I brought out how God wants more than our money, he wants us.  God wants us to give our money, but he also wants us to give ourselves to him, and for his service.  There was a certain rich men in the church (at least he gave the impression of being rich) who took offence at the message, declaring he had done plenty when he gave his money. 

I preached from Luke 10:2 at Zoar Baptist Church in Cunningham, KY, where a man, after services, declared he was called to the mission field, but his wife would not let him go.  There was much discussion, but some preachers there thought I preached the message because I knew the situation, and directed the message toward him, but I did not know the man, nor do I remember who he was. 


Two Points: (as motivation to be laborers for the Lord)

  1. What We Have.
  2. What Others Do Not Have.


What we have and what others do not have.

  1. We have a Saviour, but the lost do not have a Saviour.
  2. Hebrews 13:5 – the promise that Christ will be with us always, even when we do not know he is with us.
  3. John 14:26 – We have the comforter (The Holy Ghost),which lost people do not have.
  4. I John 1:8-10 – We have forgiveness of daily sins, which others do not have.
  5. I John 2:27 – We have a special anointing of God, which teaches us all things, that the lost do not have.
  6. We have scriptural baptism, which the lost cannot have because they are not saved yet.
  7. Hebrews 4:16 – We have special graces from God as help in times of need, which the lost do not have.
  8. God chastens us when we sin and get away from him, and God never chastens those that do not belong to him.


Do not be surprised if people do not hear the blessed gospel.

  1. Ezekiel 33:1-7 – We are God’s chosen watchmen to declare God’s soon coming judgment.  We cannot make people hear, but we can warn them. 
  2. People accept/reject the gospel differently/and at different times.  Do not be overly concerned or anxious if people do not hear and are not saved.  Continue to talk to them, and others.  God will open ears in time.
  3. Acts 17:32-34 – When Paul preached his great gospel message on Mars Hill, (1) some mocked, and (2) some said, “We will hear thee again”, and (3) some believed.  It will probably be the same with you.  Remember that Jesus did not heal every sick person during his earthly ministry, nor did he save every lost soul he came in contact with.  You will not either.  These things are all worked on in God’s time, not ours.
  4. Compare Joshua 2:8-11 and Joshua 5:1.  In Joshua 2, Rahab told the spies their hearts were melted when they heard how Israel passed through the Red Sea some 40 years earlier.  I believe Rahab stopped being a harlot when the believed this message and lived as a Jew before he was ever accepted into the Jewish nation.  I do not know how old Rahab was in Joshua 2, but I know she was old enough to be a harlot, and quit that lifestyle when she was saved, then when she joined Israel, and married Salmon was still young enough to bear children, as Boaz was her son.  So it seems Rahab hear the story of Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry ground some years after it happened.  In Joshua 5:1, the people of the west of Jordan heard how Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, their hearts were melted (compare to Joshua 2:8-11), but they did not repent or turn to God, seeking forgiveness and acceptance of him.  Instead Joshua 6:1 states the city of Jericho was straitly (securely) shut up because of the children of Israel. 


Matthew 9:

Verse 35 - Jesus went to other places than just his hometown.  He expects us to go into all the world, not just to the places we know about.  Some of the things Jesus did, we cannot do, like healing diseases, but we can preach to people and teach them.

Verse 36 - Everywhere Jesus went, He saw great multitudes of people with no goal or aim in life.  The people fainted in their minds because of the false teaching that was everywhere.  They were scattered (flung about, or tossed with no certain landing place) abroad, as sheep when there is none to take care of them.  They were “objects” that no man cared about.

I.    John 4:35 – Lift up your eyes.

A.     This indicates that our eyes must naturally cast down, that we normally don't see like God wants us to.

1.       Do you see anybody that needs Jesus?

2.       Not just "the world", but individual, particular people.

3.       Our greatest job is to go - Matt. 28:18-20.

B.     Have compassion.

1.       Matt. 9:36, Jesus had compassion when He looked.

2.       If we lift up our eyes, and see the multitudes going into eternal destruction, we will also have compassion.

C.     Who is Christ talking to?

1.       He is not talking to the people of the world.

2.       He is talking to his closest followers, his true disciples.


II.    John 4:35 - The fields are white already unto harvest.

A.     John 4:35 - Some say it is four months to the harvest.

1.       Four months means some people don't believe the crop is even planted!!

2.       Jesus said the crop has been planted and is ready for harvest.

B.     The fields are white unto harvest.

1.       This would indicate that there are people out there who are ready to be "harvested" if we would take the gospel to them.

2.       Isn't this a promise that: Ps. 126:5,6 - If we reap, we shall sow?

3.       How many people have you talked to this year about their salvation?  The "average" Christian talks to nobody.  The "normal" Christian talks to everybody.

4.       If we don't talk to them, their blood will be on our hands.  We will give account for them in the day of judgment.


III.    What are we to do?

A.     Pray

1.       Don't just think about the situation and talk about it to one another.

2.       Note that Jesus said to pray before anything else was done.

3.       Sometimes, we make the mistake of doing before praying.

B.     What is a laborer?

1.       Note: we are not to pray that God will call preachers to preach.  Acts 6:4 reveals the work of the ministry is in prayer and the ministry of the Word, not necessarily in doing everything church members should be doing. 

2.       We are to pray that God will send forth laborers into the field.  It is very possible to be a laborer in God’s vineyard without being called to preach, but by simply being a faithful church member, whether you are a man or a woman.

3.       Rom. 10:15 - How shall they preach except they be sent?

4.       God wants YOU to go, not somebody else.  If you are saved, He has saved you for a reason, not just to sit down and do nothing.

5.       It is God’s job to send laborers into His harvest.  We cannot send anybody.  Not “mamma called, daddy sent.”

a.      God will give the strength, ability and energy to do the job.

b.      God will supply all the education a person needs to do God’s job.

c.      God will supply qualified workers, we don’t have to lessen the qualifications to get men to continue in the ministry, or to get them to enter.

d.      God will give the person a place to work, and make him happy there.

e.      God will give the person success in the work, whether anybody believes or not.  Whether the work is big or small, well known or isolated.

6.       God will “send” them.

a.      He will thrust them into the work.

b.      He will give them a burden for the work they must heed.

c.      Jeremiah (Jer 20:9) said the Word of God was a fire in his bone.

d.      Peter was fishing for a living and happy doing it when Jesus came to him and called him to follow Him, and He would make him fishers of men.

C.     Most people will say that is the Church's job, or the pastor's job.

1.       That means everybody shucks the responsibility, expecting somebody else to go, but it winds up that nobody goes.

2.       According to Ephesians 4 – the pastors work is to train the people to be laborers, which principle is greatly rejected by most pastors and churches today. 

3.       Acts 8:1-4 - The early church members went everywhere preaching the word, except the apostles.

a.      The apostles had set the example, and the church members followed that example.

b.      The apostles also stayed at Jerusalem because they thought that would be the central place of worship.

c.      It was the church members that organized the church at Antioch, (Acts 11:19-26) which ordained Paul and Barnabas as missionaries, (Acts 13:3).

d.      Jerusalem was the Jewish worship center, but Antioch was the Gentile worship center.