Rethink the Great Commission

Rethink the Great Commission

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This Sunday it is a privilege to welcome Eva Watt, our partner in mission, into the pulpit.  Her text is Luke 10:1-12; 17-20.  

In verse 2 of that text Jesus says,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

I don’ think we have any farmers in our congregation, a few hobby gardeners but no farmers.  But if you were to live in a farming community and play a little game of word association with the local farmers do you know what we would discover? If you were to ask them to say the first word that comes to mind when you say “Harvest” – you would think they would say “Work” or something like that.  But that’s not what they say. The most common word that comes to mind for a farmer when you say “Harvest” is the word “Ready”.  

That’s what harvest is – it is a field of wheat or corn – that is ready to be brought into the barns. 

So what Jesus is saying here is, “The ready is plentiful”  In other words Jesus is saying to us, “I have all kinds of people who are ready for me.  The harvest is plentiful.”

Unfortunately, the harvest is not the problem.  The problem is the workers to bring the harvest in.  Jesus says, “I don’t have any trouble getting lost people to come to me.  I can’t get my people to go and get them!” That’s why he says, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will send out workers.” (verse 2)

The Greek word for “send out” means to forcibly expel.  It’s a word used when referring to casting out demons, of throwing people out of the temple, of throwing cargo overboard.  Jesus says, “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to forcibly expel people into the harvest.” 

This is our Lord’s passion – that we would go out into the world and bring in the harvest that he has ready for his kingdom.  

So what are we to do?  My friends, as a church – let’s set proper priorities.  You’ve heard me say many times that the Christianity is the only organization that exists for the benefit of its non-members.  Let’s not forget why we have been called and whom we are called. Our priority is not a bigger building, it is not a bigger budget, or a care free life.  Our priority is to offer the love of Christ to a starving world. Let’s set our priorities straight. 

Then let’s offer ourselves to God in service.  Jesus says, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest.”  It’s interesting that the very people to whom Jesus speaks these words were the ones who went out into the harvest.

So, don’t you dare read this and think that this message is for someone else younger or more mature. No! It’s for all of us. As Christ’s body we have been given the mandate to go out into the harvest, which the Lord of the harvest has prepared. 

In thanksgiving for you,

Pastor Tom