What is your natural response when you see “the crowds” of people who live in and of the world? I don’t know about you, but I don’t always respond with compassion initially. However, Jesus’ response here softens my heart and reminds me of the true consequence of those who don’t know Jesus: they are (and we were, before coming to Christ) like sheep without a shepherd. Wandering, searching, defenseless, hopeless, harassed, and helpless. What strikes me about Jesus’ response is that He didn’t say, “pray for those helpless sheep.” Instead, He tells the disciples that the lost sheep aren’t the problem. They’re doing what they know. The problem is that there aren’t enough workers to work the great harvest field! Not only should we be good workers ourselves in how we reach, care for, and show up in the lives of others, but we should also ask God to send out more workers to come alongside us! Is there anyone in your life that God might be calling up? To go more intentionally into their circles of influence? Pray for God to bring those people into the harvest work and encourage those you see being stirred by the Holy Spirit!
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”