Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” And he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. – Matthew 9:37-10:1
This is a really powerful and inspiring passage if we progress through exactly what is being revealed in each line. Let’s take a look:
- Jesus tells his disciples to ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest. Of course, he’s speaking metaphorically about the need to restore humanity back to a right relationship with God. Who is the master of the harvest? God is the master, for he is the only one who can actually send people to call his people back to himself. In fact, he’s done so throughout all of the Old Testament. We can see this in all of the prophets found in that first section of the Bible. The prophets called God’s people back from their sinful ways. This is where one of the cool parts comes in…
- Immediately after telling his disciples to ask the master of the harvest to send laborers for the harvest, Jesus calls his Twelve apostles and sends them out to restore his people by casting out unclean spirits and curing illnesses. Which means…Jesus is the master of the harvest! Which means…Jesus is God! Whoa. In this scene, Jesus is revealing his identity, which is powerful in itself. But it gets even better! Jesus also reveals something about the nature of God. To understand what we’re talking about, let’s have a mini lesson in deities:
- Throughout history, people have fallen into the trap of believing in false gods. There is the god of the sun, the god of the rains, the god of the crops, the god of fertility, the god of the ocean, the list can go on and on. There’s a god for everything. They control their own domain and together they created humans. And these gods are generally viewed to be pretty unreasonable and extremely demanding. They are said to treat people as mere slaves and tend to hold something against us mere mortals. It’s as though these gods created humans only to make their life a little more entertaining. Not cool. Now we can look at what makes this scene so awesome.
- Jesus gives his disciples authority to cast out unclean spirits and to cure diseases and illnesses. Remember: Jesus is God. Jesus, as God, calls people to himself in order to give them something precious, which is to share in his work of restoring humanity! The divine Word of God is eager to give his beloved creature the deepest qualities of his own Divine Being. Wow!
Let’s simply marvel at the radical generosity of our God. He’s so good and so generous. There’s much more that could be observed from this scene, but this is powerful enough to lead us into a prayer of thanksgiving.
Jesus, we’re so grateful you came to us. We’re so grateful for your generosity. Thank you! Send us out to help with the harvest. Call us to yourself and share with us your divine life. Make us generous as you are generous.
Now, let’s go share in the Master’s work.