JESUS WAS MISSIONAL
HE WAS PASSIONATE FOR THE LOST
By George Thomasson
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:35-38
The ministry of Jesus involved preaching, teaching, and healing. As He went about his daily ministry, He encountered people who were hurting, not just physically but also spiritually. He cared for them so much that he had compassion for them. This word “compassion” means that he was moved for them deep in his heart and that He always did something to help them. He said they were like sheep without a shepherd. Sheep are helpless without a shepherd. They need him to provide for and protect them. People are like that, too. They need Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), to provide for and protect them. Without Him, they are lost, but when they turn to Him, He will save them.
As much as we care about people who are hurting and lost, we cannot express the depth of compassion that Jesus can. Neither can we save them. However, Jesus can, and if we have trusted Him as our personal Savior, His Spirit lives in us. We can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show Jesus’ compassion through us as an extension of His love for people.
Jesus said in verses 37 & 38 that many people need to be saved but not many Christians are sharing the gospel with them. We can pray that God will help his people to really see how lost others are without Jesus, that He will burden them with His compassion for them and that they will love them enough to lead them to Jesus. When you begin praying like this, the Holy Spirit will give you opportunities to express His compassion by sharing the gospel with “lost sheep” too.
Think back on your My5 list. Pray that God would continue to give you opportunities to share with those on your list and even add more names to it! When the opportunity comes, have the courage to take it and see how God uses you in that friend’s life.
The gospel and the Kingdom of God is bigger than Christ Place. Take time to pray for our missionaries that we support here at Christ Place (Pastor Emi and Paige Almeida in Bolivia, Pastor Aaron and Andrea Bennett in Portland, etc.). Pray that God would bless their efforts and that God would raise up more laborers for the harvest around the world.
Lord, I pray for my friends and family who don’t know You. It is my desire that they would repent of their sins and come to You. I know that You love them and pray that you would use me as a laborer to see people come to You.