Matthew 9.36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
When Jesus ministered on earth, He was the express image of The Father. Everything that He said and did was what The a Father said and did. Jesus and The Father are One. Here in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus has been demonstrating His Deity over sickness and nature. Looking at the multitudes that were bringing their sick and afflicted to Him, Jesus was moved with compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. We understand from comparing all the gospels that Jesus was not just some traveling healing show. He drew the line in the sand about what it would mean for them to be His disciples. In contrast, compassion today is often spelled compromise.
But what we need to see is that Jesus was moved with compassion towards them. That is because both compassion and love are verbs, not just doctrines. It is in the context of Jesus looking at the multitudes that He turns to His disciples and says that there is a great harvest to be had but few laborers. Then He requests that they ask The Father to send laborers into His harvest. In other words, it is The Father’s will for the disciples of Jesus to follow His example of being moved with compassion towards the multitudes. Instead of simply handing out tracts, The Lord wants our daily lives to be His tract of compassion, love and truth. It is so easy for Bible-believing Christians to become more like Evangelical Navy Seals who infiltrate enemy territory and then pounce on our prey, quoting Scripture with rapid fire Ninja-like precision and lightning speed that leaves you gasping for air and with no hope. That is not the Spirit of Christ. He was (and still is) a friend of publicans and sinners (like me) without compromising the gospel or His message of truth.
We have become so sterile in our Christianity to the point that we shun and avoid at all costs the very people whom Jesus said to go and demonstrate His compassion and truth with. Paul makes it very clear that biblical separation is not to be understood as having no contact with the unsaved. May The Spirit of God help us to clearly understand the marching orders of the great commission, and be compassion-filled, truth-filled followers of Jesus. The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Are you one of them?