For September 1, 2021 Live@5

Matthew 9:32–10:4 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 6:6-7; Luke 9:1-2)

32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”

34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Religious leaders, in an effort to discredit Jesus, accuse Him of casting out demons in the name and authority of the demon leader.  In another gospel, He reasons as to why that is not possible.  The religious establishment continues to cast doubt on Jesus’ ministry.  The established leadership is flawed and self-serving, and Jesus threatens that system by His love and compassion and pure ministry.

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Jesus goes on, ignoring the resistance, and heals the sick and teaches truth.  He has compassion on those who do not have good leadership, with no shepherds who care well for them.  He then makes the call for laborers for the harvest.  The harvest is present, but we need laborers.  Pray for those laborers to enter the harvest.  Pray for leaders to lead the sheep, and laborers to bring them in.

10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Finally, Jesus takes His disciples to another level of responsibility and leadership in His intense training of their souls.  He gives them authority over evil spirits and disease, and then sends them into the harvest to do the work of ministry.  Good leaders raise up other leaders to follow them into the work of the ministry.  Good leaders teach and train, operate in authority, and then share that authority.  Pastor, elder, leader, raise up others to take your place, so that you may step up another level as you follow Christ.  Don’t be paranoid or hesitant to give ministry away.  Raise them up, train them, and then turn them loose to serve!  You cannot do it all.  You should not do it all.  Raise them up!

Artwork from:

The Harvest is Great – Matthew 9

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