Daily Devotion|Day 260
“Then He [Jesus] said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus sent the 12 Apostles on a mission to preach the kingdom of God. Then, in the following chapter (Luke 10), He sent out 72 others with a similar mission. Today’s opening passage marks the beginning of Jesus’ instructions for the 72 disciples.
Jesus starts by making an observation, followed by a request. He declares that the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. The harvest here refers to the work of reaching people with the Good News of salvation, and bringing them into the kingdom of God. Harvest time is a time when farmers gather the fruit of the land. According to Jesus, there exists a great number of people who must be gathered for the Lord. Remember, He said this two-thousand years ago. We don’t know what He will say today.
In the second part of His observation, Jesus notes, “the laborers are few.” This means there is no shortage of work, but there is shortage of workers. Jesus did not give us the exact size of the work and the number of workers at the time. However, being the Son of God, He knows what He saw. The Father’s business was important to Jesus (Luke 2:49), so He cared about bringing it to completion (John 4:34). However, the harvest work is a team work. Jesus has His part, and we have ours.
In response to the shortage, Jesus says to us, “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Jesus calls His Father, the Lord of the harvest. Firstly, this means it is God who decides who (and how many) to hire in the harvest of souls. He decides where and when He needs your services. We can’t force it. The only thing we can do is what Jesus has told us: pray that the Father will send people.
Secondly, we should know our place in the work of salvation. God is in charge of who gets saved, and when; not us. This requires a spirit of submission and discernment on our part. God has a time and place for everyone’s salvation. We should not force, push, manipulate, insist or pressure people to accept Jesus. Our job is simple. We are messengers. We deliver the message, and we allow God to determine the outcome at a time and place of His choosing. We are laborers, not owners of ‘Salvation, Inc.’
Pray today for all who are preaching the kingdom of God. Pray also that the Father will send more dedicated workers into His field.
Blessing: May the Lord cause grace, peace and joy to abound in your household. Amen.
For further study: 1 Timothy 3:1-13