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

Monday, April 26, 2021

Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 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 his fields."
— Matthew 9:35-38 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus has a deep hunger for the lost! He doesn't passively "feel sorry" for the crowds, but he has a deep compassion for them in his heart — the literally term speaks of his "insides" or "gut level" compassion. It is not just an emotion, but a visceral reality. His love is real and moves him to act and call others to act. Jesus longs for the lost to come home to the Father. But more than longing, he's going and 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 also 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

  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Matthew 14:13-14


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Illustration of Matthew 9:35-38 NLT — "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 his fields."

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 and is available in book form.

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.