Praying to the Lord of the Harvest
Later on in his ministry, Jesus would send heralds ahead of Him to prepare the town for His teaching. Whether the townspeople accepted the heralds or not, their message was to be the same: The kingdom of God has come near you. The goal of this preparation work was very similar to John the Baptist’s mission to prepare hearts and minds for when the Messiah would arrive.
Jesus gave these followers specific instructions on how to carry out their portion of His ministry. We’re going to focus in on just one part of the instructions they received.
Luke 10:1-2 After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go. He told them: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Harvest time was always a joyous time in Jewish society. Much work needed to be done, but the benefits were well worth the effort. Hearts were ready to receive the good news of the Messiah’s arrival, but someone had to get the word out to them. Those who were willing to spread the message had a significantly large task ahead of them. In comparison to the task at hand, there were too few workers.
Jesus’ first direction to the 70 was to pray that God would send out even more workers to help spread the good news of Jesus’ arrival, to bring in the abundant harvest of those who would respond and belong to God. The 70 were going to need all the help they could get!
Jesus’ directions to the 70 heralds was very similar to what He has previously taught to the 12 disciples. While journeying through Samaria, Jesus spoke to a woman at Jacob’s well and told her that He was the Messiah. She immediately ran back to her village to tell others. While she was gone, the disciples urged Jesus to eat…but as the Samaritans made their way toward Jesus and His disciples, He used their arrival as a teaching moment:
John 4:34-35 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”
Our application is to do the same – open our eyes, see their need, and participate in the harvest. There is more work to be done than we can handle on our own. So ask God to send out even more workers…the benefits of this work is worth it because this harvest is of eternal value.