When Jesus saw the multitudes Matt 9:36-38, he was moved with compassion because they fainted, they were scattered abroad, and they were as sheep having no shepherd. They were:
Sapped. People today are faint. New hires can’t take the load of an ordinary day’s work. Others find that they are so busy, they are working themselves to death. They don’t have the metal of the greatest generation.
Scattered. The multitudes are scattered abroad. It seems the devil has run into the flock and they are now all over the place. We have a daughter on the west coast and one on the east coast. We have a son in San Marcos working remotely for a company headquartered in San Diego. Millions are displaced and entering this country. They have left their countries and people from other countries are entering where they have left. Venezuelan immigrants in Ecuador. Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica. Spencer needs a Spanish speaking pastor in Hawaii. Australia ministering to dozens of different language groups.
Shepherd-less. They are sheep having no shepherd because they are not the sheep of Jesus Christ, the good shepherd.
When Jesus saw the multitudes he encouraged his disciples to see:
The surplus harvest – “the harvest truly is plenteous”. We must see the opportunity. In Jn 4, Jesus told his disciples to look on the fields, they are white already to harvest. In Lk 10 he said, the harvest is great. MacArthur requested missionaries go to Japan after WWII. Some went, but there was still a surplus harvest. Don Sisk went. The first convert he led to Christ is today the pastor of a church of nearly 700 members.
The shortage of laborers – “but the laborers are few”. There are not enough laborers to bring in all the harvest that is available to be harvested. Our people who know the Bible are too consumed with comforts and concerns here to notice the need of the multitude.
The supplication by the saints – “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest”. Our first response should be to pray. People often neglect to pray because they don’t see the first two points. They may not realize the command of the Lord. They may not want the Lord to deal with them about going. Ted Mullins prayed that God would send his classmates, and God sent him, instead.
The sending forth by the Savior – “that he would send forth laborers into his harvest”. He has to send them forth because he knows right where they fit in the harvest. Paul was a planter. Apollos was a waterer. And when they did what God sent them to do, God gave the increase.
Conclusion: the Lord can send whom he wants where he wants and they’ll get the job done by his grace. The place some people least desire to go is the place where God often sends them. And some of them have done the greatest work.