Participating in Jesus’ call to His harvest


Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”

“Many hands make light work.” This is never more true than when it comes to gardening. Last Saturday Dad and I left for a week of vacation and as usually happens our trip coincided with the peak of our garden season. So we called in the troops. We asked each of our nearby children to visit the house and harvest the produce as they had the opportunity. With everyone’s effort, the garden stayed under control and everyone was well-fed.

Similarly, Jesus used a harvesting illustration to commission His disciples to care, body and soul, for the hurting people around them.

All throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus traveled the countryside teaching and healing people. Crowds followed Him everywhere He went, but many only sought His healing touch without embracing His instruction and the good news He preached. Others were confused by their circumstances and the various religious positions of the day. Like lost sheep without a shepherd, they searched for answers. While Jesus had the authority and power to speak a word of healing over everyone at once, He chose to limit Himself to a physical human body, to draw out faith, and to appoint His disciples to help with His ministry.

After bringing a young girl back to life, news of Jesus’ power spread all throughout the region. Two blind men followed Jesus as He left the scene of the resurrection begging Him to have mercy on them. Seeking to draw out their faith, Jesus did not respond to their pleas immediately. But desperate for healing the men followed Him right into the house where He was staying. There Jesus asked an important question. “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied. So Jesus touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” The newly sighted men stared into the eyes of the One who had returned their sight and listened as He warned them not to tell anyone of their healing. But they couldn’t help themselves and soon the news of Jesus’ power had spread even further.

The men had no sooner left the house than some people brought a demon-possessed man who was deaf and dumb. After Jesus drove out the demon, the mute man spoke. Again the growing crowds buzzed with excitement over what they saw, causing the jealous religious leaders to try to discredit Jesus by claiming His power came from the prince of demons.

As Jesus considered the multiplying myriads of confused faces and broken hearts surrounding Him He was filled with compassion. He knew firsthand what sin does to physical bodies as well as to the heart and soul of each individual. So after telling His disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out workers into the field, Jesus commissioned them and gave them the authority to do the very work He was doing Himself. Little by little the lost sheep of Israel heard the message and were given the opportunity to receive physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Sin still runs rampant in every part of the world today creating havoc on bodies, minds, and souls. The hurting crowds search for answers and healing in a confusing, messed-up world. As we speak truth to crippled hearts, share the good news of forgiveness, and pray for God’s Spirit to give sight to the spiritually blind, we participate in the great harvest of souls for eternity.

Won’t you participate? It’s the peak of the growing season and Jesus continues to call out the troops because there is still so much to do. The garden is overflowing and many hands make light work.

Love, Mama

Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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