Today started a new series entitled ‘Multiply’ as we continue in our study of Matthew. The text for today is Matthew 9:35 through 10:42; the meat o these verses being Jesus commissioning his twelve disciples to expand his ministry by serving people following the example he’s given them.
To start today’s message in context, we took a detailed look at Matthew 9:35-38. The word ‘compassion’ being used here is more than just feeling sorry for another. When we look at the original language, this word is describing an emotional and physical reaction Jesus has to seeing the lost state of the people around him as they grope for something to complete their spiritual selves. This is a gut-wrenching sorrow for humanity.
Second is the word ‘harvest’. As an amateur vegetable gardener, I understand too well the urgency or harvesting your crop before (1) another mammal does or (2) it over-ripens and is ruined. The harvest is ripe, the harvest is urgent.
Our main emphasis as a church was a prayer that I have prayed many times; Abba, let me see people through your eyes. Brandon Heath recorded a song in 2009 that accurately captures this desire, “Give Me Your Eyes”.
Jesus approached the unapproachable, touched the untouchable, and embraced every sector of society without hesitation or remorse. He broke down walls with complete disregard for his own safety. Now he’s turning to his inner circle and telling them, “It’s your turn.” As followers of Jesus, we are included in that call. Go and make disciples of the people right outside our windows. Jesus does not warn the disciples away from adversity, he tells them to expect it and embrace it. “Do not fear those who can kill your body but cannot kill your soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. (Matthew 10:28).
The theme of today’s message and resulting drawing brought back an image created for our ‘Bold’ series last year. A figure, representing you as an individual and the church as a whole, being faced with a decision; step out in faith or play it safe? In both images, the figure has taken down the warning labels members of society (many who are inside church walls) set in place to keep themselves safe and is stepping out into the perceived danger in faith. It is important to note the figure walks alone. Stepping out in faith is not a movement, it’s a decision we make as individuals that risks no one following.
Who do you see outside your own window who needs someone reach out to them? Take a bold step, introduce yourself then introduce them to Jesus.