Tag! You're it.
Read Matthew 9:35-38
35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
When I was young and I mean really young like primary level. I am always enthralled by my friends running about in a frenzy hitting each other and then running over again. One day I decided to participate, so I asked, " Teach me this game pls!" "Well sure, when someone tags you, you will be the catcher and you have to tag someone else!" At that moment he unleashed his palm and slapped my back and shouted "TAG" I was like "wait wait...then what? I just go and catch people?" "Yah...as simple as that because you are tag and that makes you the one to go and tag someone else!"
Today I am going to talk about the subject
"Are we the workers He is mentioning about in Matt 9:37?"
Three identities I am to share with you! If you have them then most probably Jesus is speaking to you as the "few workers"
The first identity - Compassionate Identity
[35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.]
Have you ever started the day really early and work all the way down till noon, afternoon, late afternoon and evening just to hear your mom say "get ready for tuition!" or maybe a good time even at Sentosa for the whole day, busking on this sand or on that sand, frisbeeing around and and busy looking at ...NO! Anyway then your cell calls you up in the evening and says "Let's have Bible Study!" You won't feel like it right? Cause you are drained and wiped out. Thoughts in your head focus on one purpose and it is the cosy bed with mickey mouse prints that awaits you at home "come come join the dark...no...the cosy side" That's us. But for Jesus that we ought to be following is different. He walk through places and at those times there are no taxis, buses nor MRT. He went on foot and furthermore He went to the people and ministered to them. Jesus was probably finishing up on one place and new crowds just kept pouring in, but he went to them. He had the "compassion" that drives Him to go beyond human tiredness. Compassion is very important. Jesus had compassion because He has a vision for for those people. A vision of them being embraced by His father.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; The verse says it, without a revelation, men will be without purpose that's what it means. Without revelation, divine guidance or visions, people will live wilfully and destructively, because there is no focus or meaning for that matter a fact. We need to have a vision to allow a purpose for compassion. Without revelations, without visions, without a goal, we have nothing to look forward to forward to. We will be living day by day seeing what's going happen next, an entity on earth taking up space and just breathing in air. The day we have no revelation or dreams you call it, it'll be a day we cease to exist.
The greatest tragedy for a vision is for it to remain as a dream, something we can only fantasize about. But Jesus didn't have it as just a dream or a fantasy, because the vision He had for these people to be saved consumed Him. And it drove Him to go beyond Himself there compassion happens. Jesus had compassion cos the vision got to Him. Can you imagine if we don't have visions like Jesus do for our friends, they will end up burning in the end. Have a compassionate identity.
The second identity - Spoken Identity
[37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.]
Jesus went to His disciples and tell them about this, "The harvest is BIG, but men are few to get work around here" Why did He have to say it to the disciples when He can do it to the masses that He taught in the churches, villages or places of people gathering who believed Him? Why? Because they were chosen and spoken to by very yours truly.
A coach of a basketball team will inform his team on the know hows of attacks and defends. Switch player on when, play hard on when cos it is his team. He don't go telling his basketball stuff to the spectators nor the pom pom girls because it is the spoken identity to the right person. A spoken word only for those who are in it.
Mothers tell their sons and daughters to study hard and love each other, why don't they tell each other family's sons or daughters? Cos it is that spoken identity from a mother to her child. Jesus said it to His disciples. And now we ask, are we His disciples? Did you accept Him into your heart as personal Lord and Saviour, blessed by the Holy Ghost and stuff? Did you read Ephesians 2:19-20(below)?
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
We are members of His household, now that makes us a tad bit more then His disciples as it makes us all related. Now don't you think Jesus is speaking to us as much as He spoke to His disciples? If you put your faith that Jesus spoke to you in the same manner of how He spoke to His disciples.The spoken identity is within you. Cos He spoke to you.
The third identity - Given Identity
[38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”]
Who are we to begin with to ask the Lord of the heavens for things unless we come not of humble lineage? And for this matter getting people to go and set out to bring good news to the masses as prophetically the above verse suggests. Why did Jesus say ask the Lord of the Harvest for favours of that measure?
There is a story about a father and his daughter was driving down the highway. They stopped for gas. The father got down, pumped the gas and was about to make his way to the cashier for payment. There tiny hands of the daughter's winded down the window, popped out of it and shouted ," Daddy Daddy! I WANT A LOLLIPOP." Now the father loves the daughter much. How would you think the father will respond? You go decipher! ... and if you decipher it right then you roughly know where I am getting at.
We are given that prestigous lineage though we seem and believed ourselves to be in the slumps. But Jesus said those lines above in Matt9:38 because He know who we are as the identity is already given to them (disciples), hence to us. Ephesians 2:6-7 (below) says
6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
We have the given identity to ask from the King of Kings or rather His one of many names "ALMIGHTY" because of the above description of how we are to be with Him. Jesus knows who He is talking to and why, because don't you think that in His eyes Jesus sees your beautiful comings already, sometimes we forget that we believe in the author of Life here, the very person we pen our life events. And today He is telling you that you can ask Him things according to His will.
With the compassionate, spoken and given identity. I pray that you will acquire them if you have not. But with this I don't see why His coming wouldn't be sooner. Jesus, I love you and sometimes to me, it is a scary thought when it is mentioned in 1 Tim 2:3-4(below)
3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
You desire all men to be saved. Grant me the skills and appetite for it then so I may have this as a vision to consume me. 800 youths in my area won't be hard. Jesus I believe in your name, Amen.
In the earlier part of the sermon, I talked about "Tag" the game. The thing about it is that I can't wait for the people to come to me, they will be moving in all speed and sizes from me. I need to get to them. If you are being tagged today by Jesus with the three identities then let's go to them. It's an effort that is driven by vision. Gotten a vision yet?