All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

21 April 2021 – Matthew 9:35-38

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:35-38 (ESV)

Jeffrey Gibbs writes:

Matthew leads the way into Jesus’ second major discourse, His Missionary Discourse, with a two-part introduction: 9:36-38 and 10:1-4. Each part in its own way emphasizes that, although Jesus will be sending the Twelve to begin their ministry of preaching, healing, and casting out demons in Israel, their ministry is in reality an extension of Jesus Himself and His own work in bringing this gracious, saving reign of God into history. As we will see, this discourse presents some unique challenges to interpreters who would responsibly apply its message to the life of the church beyond the generation of the apostles. One overarching truth, however, remains, and it brackets the entire discourse: whenever the missionaries sent by Jesus conduct their ministry, that ministry is empowered by Jesus, shaped like Jesus’ own ministry, and centered in the message about the reign of heaven – in Jesus Himself.

Moreover, the missionary work of those sent by Jesus necessarily possesses a Trinitarian character. The Son’s sending of the twelve is the answer to the prayer that the Father would send workers, and the presence of the Son and Father attends all the labors of those whom Jesus sends (10:40). In addition, in the times of deepest persecution and boldest witness, the missionaries will speak because they are empowered by the Spirit of the Father who is speaking in them.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 10
Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.