Fishers of Men: Urgent, the Need for Laborers
Matthew 9:35-38 records another instance of Jesus working to make His disciples into fishers of men.
Last week’s lesson comes from Matthew’s observation that Jesus had compassion on the crowds because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
This lesson comes from Jesus’ teaching His disciples that the harvest is plentiful, but there is a shortage of laborers to take in the harvest. Therefore, He instructed the disciples to beseech God for laborers to be sent into the harvest.
Why this great need for laborers? Why is it so urgent? Because there is a limited time for the harvest to be taken before the crop is lost. Apples must be picked when they are ripe, or they fall to the ground and rot. Green beans must be picked when ready and if left too long on the plant they turn big, hard, and unappetizing. Wheat left too long in the field is knocked down by the wind and becomes difficult even impossible to reap. Tomatoes left too long on the vine are lost to bugs, squirrels, and rabbits. So it is, with “fishing for men” the time is short for men to respond to Christ before they are lost to a Christ-less eternity. Yes, the need for laborers is great because the time is short!
“Billy Graham recalled a conversation he had with a college student, ‘What is the greatest surprise you have found about life?’ ‘The brevity of it,’ I replied without hesitation. … ‘Time moves so quickly, and no matter who we are or what we have done, the time will come when our lives will be over.’ As Jesus said, ‘As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work’ (John 9:4).”
So, what application can “fishers of men” gain from this passage?
Remember, there is an urgency to the need for laborers. All too often in my life the sense of urgency is missing. I don’t want to stop what I’m doing to go visit with a neighbor. I’ll skip the prayer for my neighbors, or wayward children, or pot smoking relative to save time. I’ll procrastinate saying I will do it tomorrow. The truth is, I may not have tomorrow. The truth is, my neighbor may not have tomorrow.
Don’t wait to get started fishing for men!
- Identifying a group of people
- Pray regularly for them by name
- Get to know them
- Ask God to send laborers into their lives (Who knows God may send you)
Remember, fishing for men requires seeing with the compassion of Christ and beseeching God for laborers to meet the urgent need.
Matthew 9:35-38 (ESV)
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.”