Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. 36 When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. 37 “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! 38 On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”
Jesus saw a harvest. Where is today’s harvest? With so much animosity directed at the Christian faith, religion in general, and the current mindset of everyone being a law unto themselves – it is hard to see the harvest. With the denial of power, denial of a divine being, denial of a Creator – how do you harvest? The people of today are much like the ones Jesus saw as being like sheep, harassed and helpless. But it is hard to see a hunger in them for a relationship with one greater, their Creator when so much effort and energy is spent on rejecting everything to do with authority or divine intervention. There is little to no personal responsibility, so how can there be a hunger for something to be committed to or accountable to?
I see darkness, I see emptiness, I see despair, I see rejection, I see self-glorification, self-love, self importance…I do not see spiritual hunger. I see spiritual rejection. See, hear, sense…
Rather I see a hunger for a more genuine knowledge of God’s Word, and a deeper personal relationship among His people. It may be the hunger, a spiritual hunger will begin here–and spread outward. If God’s people can begin to show evidence of His power in their lives, perhaps that will draw those outside the kingdom. They will see something genuine, life transformations. Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me.” He did not say a new creed, rewrite history, a new religion, a new ritual, a new way of doing things…simply, “If I be lifted up, I-Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, one who desires a genuine love relationship with His creation. If I be lifted up…
The Christian faith takes hits because it looks like another religion. Set a creed, state a belief system, list a code of conduct, plan times to meet, state requirements and expectations.. Nothing different here. But see lives changed, people treat all people as they want to be treated, reach out to the poor, speak healing to the sick…show evidence daily of a different way to live. That is power, that will create hunger in those who feel empty, despair. What does our life look like? Is it filled with joy? Love? Confidence? Peace? Or do we spend time complaining, depressed, wishing and not getting, focused on physical things rather than spiritual, short-tempered, angry, speaking hatefully to those around us who inconvenience us? Do we shine the light of genuineness, a real relationship with our Creator? Are we different?
If I, Jesus, be lifted up…there are those who will turn, be drawn. My Word will not return empty, it will accomplish what it set to do!