#DailyDevotions Jesus Provides The Fallen World With Shepherds
935Then Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. 36As He saw the crowds, He felt sorry for them, because they were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “There’s much grain to be harvested, but there are only a few workers. 38 Ask the Owner of the harvest to send out workers to bring in His grain.” … 105Jesus sent these twelve out with the following instructions: “Don’t go among the Gentiles or into any town of the Samaritans. 6But go to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach, “The kingdom of heaven is here.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Give these things as you received them — without pay.
In Jesus’ ministry upon the earth he went out among the town and villages teaching and preaching the good news of the kingdom. On the one hand he taught the Law of God in its truth and purity, correcting the bad, the incorrect and false teaching that had been handed down which sometimes made the law too easy and sometimes too hard. We see that in his sermon on the mount. That was only good news in so far as it freed the people from a lot of unnecessary duties God never gave them. On the other hand it is mostly in his parables that the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and the Father’s love in seeking out the lost is taught. Jesus then backed up his teaching, showing he had authority to teach what he taught by healing every disease and sickness. He cast out demons. He raised the dead. On occasion he even forgave people directly their sins. He showed to the people the mercy of God. Looking at the crowds he felt sorry for them. They “were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” The religious leaders of their day did not help. They weren’t taught the truth and so they themselves only continued teaching the false teaching which oppressed the people of God. The good news of the mercy and kindness of God was not being taught to sinners. Yet, if that good news would be preached they would hear and repent. He needed help. He tells to crowds to pray for harvesters.
Jesus then answers his own prayer by gathering twelve of the crowd to be his apostles. They had been with him and he had called them to follow him from the beginning. They would be the new patriarchs of Israel. Through these twelve men Jesus would correct the erring ways of the traditions of the fathers and preach and teach the truth of God’s word to his fallen people. In this pre-crucifixion mission they were only to go to the lost sheep of Israel, for the word and promises of God belong first to the people God the LORD made a covenant with him on behalf of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were to preach the kingdom of heaven is here. That is to say, the messiah has come, their redeemer and savior had come. The LORD had fulfilled his promise of salvation. They would teach the Law as the LORD Jesus had intended for it to be kept. They would preach the parables in which the forgiveness of sins and the acceptance of God for all who repented of their sins. They baptized the people with a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. They went out with Jesus’ authority to back up their preaching by healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. They were freely taught these things by Jesus. They would freely do these things for the crowds without pay. They would however be supported by one household wherever they went to take care of their needs.
Well the harvest is still ripe. All people, not just the Jews need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. We keep praying for harvesters and God keeps providing them. God provides for us pastors, evangelist and missionaries to preach and teach the kingdom of heaven is here. Repent and believe the good news. God is merciful and kind to us on account of his messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Heavenly Father, continue to provide pastors, evangelists and missionaries to the world to gather your people to Jesus Christ, to teach us your will, your kindness and mercy found in Jesus, your son, so we may not be lost but found by him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.