Laborer of Labored-Over?
“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” (Matthew 9.37-38) There is a weird dynamic in this parable. The plentiful harvest is supposed to be those who will receive salvation. The laborers are those who have been harvested. So, the grain and the gatherers are both man.
The first exhortation is the one that Jesus is offering; TELL PEOPLE ABOUT SALVATION. Jesus died to save souls! In a way, not sharing Jesus with the world is forsaking His sacrifice. Surely, no one would be as arrogant as to think that Jesus died for them alone! Jesus died for all- so look around; everyone your eyes light upon is in need of saving. The harvest is plentiful.
God’s Word, and His Word alone, makes souls ready to receive His saving grace. The laborers go to gather the grain, not grow it. So, as Jesus is teaching: Pray that you may be commissioned to collect for Him. As Romans 10.14-15 states, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!””
But the souls collected as also the harvested harvest. Reapers are sent. Reapers are to be prayed for. But, unfortunately, some people are just collected. Will they be saved? Yes. But, Jesus is telling His disciples to try to be so much more. They can be- they should be, will they? Will they “Go…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.18, abbreviation mine) or will they just be collected to await eternity?
I am not trying to imply that salvation is worth less if you are not teaching people about Jesus, but, Jesus Himself admonishes: “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers”. That could be you. You could be communicating the salvation some dying soul needs to hear. Will you labor for Jesus, or are we satisfied, having been labored over?