Summary: Why if the harvest is ripe are there so few harvesters
“My ears are tuned differently to yours”
I would like to look at one part of one verse this morning
“The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2)
Jesus gave the Church only one Commission – and that was not to put “bums on pews”
It was to make disciples
Jesus in Matt 28:18-20 said this to his Church
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Have you ever wondered why the Church has so few people who are prepared to go out and “make disciples” in the words of the Great Commission.
Or to use Jesus’ words in our Gospel reading – why are there so few harvesters when the Harvest is plenty
It is not because we are short of people in the Church!
As I challenged the PCC of the Upper Wreake the other Tuesday – if everyone in the Church brought just one person to Christ each year we would double the church numbers!
So why is it that we have so few willing to go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.
Chuck Swindoll the well known American pastor tells this story
Story: A Native American was walking in downtown New York City alongside a friend who was a resident of the city.
Right in the centre of Manhattan, the Native American seized his friend’s arm and whispered,
“Wait! I can hear a cricket.”
His friend replied “Come on! A cricket? Man, this is downtown New York.”
He persisted, “No, seriously, I really can hear a cricket.”
“It’s impossible!” the New Yorker replied
“You can’t hear a cricket! There are taxis going by. horns are honkin’. People are screamin’ at each other. Brakes are screeching.
Both sides of the street filled with people. Cash registers are clanging away. Subways roaring beneath us.You can’t possibly hear a cricket!”
The Native American insisted, “Wait a minute!” he said and led his friend, the New Yorker along, slowly.
They stopped, and the Native American walked down to the end of the block, went across the street, looked around, cocked his head to one side, but couldn’t find it.
He went across another street, and there in a large cement planter where a tree was growing, he dug into the mulch and found the cricket.
“See!” he yelled, as he held the insect high above his head.
His friend walked across the street, marvelling,
“How in the world could it be that you heard a cricket in the middle of downtown busy Manhattan?”
The Native American said,
“Well, my ears are different from yours. It simply depends on what you’re listening to. Here, let me show you.”
And he reached in his pocket and pulled out a handful of change--a couple of quarters, three or four nickels, and some dimes and pennies.
Then he said, “Now watch.”
He held the coins waist high and dropped them to the sidewalk.
Every head within a block turned around and looked in the direction of the Native American.
Let me ask the question again
So why is it that we have so few Christians willing to go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others?
Perhaps it has to do with what our ears tuned to?
Do we hear the call of Christ to go and make disciples – or is that just the job of the clergy?
You see if we are Christians we are called not just to be believers, we are called to be disciples.
The term disciple is derived from the Latin discipulus meaning "a learner".
If we are Christ’s disciples, we learn from Him – and he taught his disciples that they are called to be SERVANTS OF GOD.
In other words we do God’s will not our own
Jesus said something very telling about discipleship in Jn 12:25 when he said this;
25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me. (Jn 12; 25)
Jesus is clearly using hyperbole here.
He is not telling us to literally hate our own lives - because elsewhere (Mt. 5:44) Jesus tells us to love our enemies as ourselves.
And so if we hated ourselves – that wouldn’t be revolutionary teaching!!!
To understand what Jesus is saying, we need to understand that in Hebrew thought.
In Hebrew, there is no separate word to ’prefer less’.