What Jesus Did! 'Beyond Longing to Looking!' — Matthew 9:35-38

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages. Jesus taught in their synagogues and told people the Good News about the kingdom. And Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Jesus saw the many people and felt sorry for them. Jesus felt sorry for the people because the people were worried and helpless. The people were like sheep without a shepherd to lead them. Jesus said to his followers, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to him that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest."
— Matthew 9:35-38 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 9:35-38 NLT — "There are many, many people to harvest (save)."

Key Thought

Jesus has a deep hunger for the lost! He doesn't really "feel sorry" for the crowds, but has a deep compassion in his heart (literally, his "insides") for them. It is not only an emotion, but a visceral reality. His love is real and moves him to act and call others to act. Jesus longs for them to come home to the Father. But more than longing, he's gone looking to bring them back. His call to his disciples, and to us, is to join him in his work of love, compassion, and care. Like Jesus, our prayer should be to not only work in the harvest, but to also pray for more harvesters.

Today's Prayer

O God our Savior, the Holy One who wants none of his human children to be lost, give me a heart to care and hands to serve those who have lost their way. At the same time Father, I pray that you will pour out your Holy Spirit on your Church worldwide and in my own congregation to stir us to work at reaching the lost. Near and far, Father, we want to bring your lost children back to your table of grace, love and joy. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matt. 28:19-20
  • Matt. 14:13-14
  • Matt. 14:13-14


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.