Summary: MY316 is a 5 week Small group study put out by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that we did at our church. It's a study that focuses on evangelism. I preached 5 sermons that went along with each weeks study.
“Bringing in the Harvest”
In the movie, Schindler's List, one of the most moving scenes is near the end of the three-hour drama. Oscar Schindler had invested his energy and his fortune in saving the lives of hundreds of Jews who would have otherwise been killed in Hitler's holocaust. Because the war is at its end, the Jews he saved will become free men and women; while Schindler will become a fugitive. He walks to his car with his Jewish friend. The others are around them. Schindler begins to cry. He looks at his watch and knows if he had sold it he could have saved another life. He looks at his car and knows that he could have exchanged it for additional lives. He says to his friend, "I could have done more." I could have done more. Oscar Schindler knew he could have done more to save Jews from perishing in the death camps. You and I could do more to save people from perishing in hell's fire.
Jesus did all he could. Read Matthew 9:35-38. "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness" (Matt. 9:35). But it was when he saw the crowds, the multitude of people, who needed to be saved from the eternal death camps he was moved. Jesus ministered to the needs of the people all around Him, He met their physical needs, but He was able to see beyond just that. Jesus was able to see the deepest needs of their hearts. As Jesus looked at the multitudes around Him, He was moved with compassion for them. This word literally means “to be moved in the heart.” He saw the reality of the need of the people all around Him. He saw them as they were and He sought to share this insight with His disciples. He wants us to see the dilemma of humanity as He does. He wants us to see people as they really are. He wants us to be moved in the heart just as He was. He wants us to be able to see the harvest through His eyes. That is the thought I want to magnify this morning. When you and I see the people as Jesus saw the crowds and as Oscar Schindler saw the Jews in Nazi Germany it should move us. If we are to see lives saved and won to Christ we need to see the harvest as Jesus saw the harvest of spiritually lost people dying and facing a Christ-less eternity. How did Jesus see the harvest?
I. The harvest is plentiful.
"Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful'" (Matt. 9:37). The world is big. The crowds are huge. The number of spiritually lost and dying people is overwhelming. In Jesus' day the population of the world was approximately 150 million people. Today's world population grows 150 million every two years. The world's population is close to 7 billion people with the population of the United States over 311 million. Jesus looked at the crowds around Him and He saw a “plentiful” harvest. I am sure all the disciples saw were people pushing and shoving to get close to their leader. But, Jesus saw more! He saw people who needed to be saved by grace. He saw a harvest that was ripe for the picking! He looked beyond their condition and their destination and He saw a people that could be delivered, changed and saved! He did not see the problems, only the potential!
What do we see when we look at the people all around us? Do we see sinners lost in their filthiness and vileness? Do we see people who live like dogs and don’t care? Do we see people as they are, or do we see them as the Lord could make them if they came to Him? That is the view Jesus had of lost men. He saw them not as they were, but as they could be by grace! We need that same kind of vision if we are going to reach people in this day and time!
One day, Jesus stood with His disciples outside the city of the Samaritans. Now, the Samaritan were a people despised by the Jews of Jesus’s day. The Samaritans came about through the intermarriage of Jews with the colonists sent to live in Israel by the Babylonians. Jesus went to a city of the Samaritans and spoke to a sinful woman. He saw her not just as she was, but as she could be through grace. He saved her and many Samaritans were also saved because Jesus looked at the harvest as being everywhere and plentiful.What I am trying to get us to understand is this truth: There are people all around who need Jesus! The harvest truly is plentiful! Many are ripe for the picking, we merely need to see it and do something about it! May the Lord help us to see the harvest through His loving eyes.