A Moment with the Bible
After Matthew records nine miracles he offers two reactions. The first is the reaction of the multitudes. They are amazed and say, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” That is the honest and truthful reaction. But more important is the reaction of those who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. For anyone who is interested in examining the evidence of whether or not Jesus is the Christ, the testimony of His detractors is critical. So, what will they say? Will they deny that He ever did anything miraculous? Will they talk about how His miracles were done by slight of hand? Will they suggest that those He purported to heal were really not ill at all? No, they will not say any of these things. Instead, they will admit that He has done the miracles, but deny that the source is from God. “He casts out demons by the ruler of demons.” That is an admission that the demons were cast out! Jesus will later expose the foolishness of such an argument. Why would the Satan destroy his own kingdom?
The final verses of this chapter give us a most important picture. How did Jesus see the multitudes? When He looked at the common people, what was His reaction? In John 7:49, we read of how the Pharisees viewed the people: “This multitude who knows not the Law is accursed.” But Jesus saw them differently. Jesus saw them from God’s point of view. He saw them the same way we should see the people around us today. Jesus pictured people as sheep, wounded, fainting, and scattered. They were not in that condition completely on their own accord. They had no shepherd, no guidance, no one to take care of them. But what do we see when we look at those around us? Do we simply think of their sinfulness, shrink back from contact with them, and condemn them from afar? When we do, we are in the same category as the Pharisees.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” The Lord is looking for those who have His heart, who see people with a heart of compassion and are willing to go and help them. Unfortunately, those kinds of people are few in number. Most simply condemn and count others unworthy of the Lord’s mercy. Therefore, pray that the Lord will send laborers into His harvest, and as you do, think about yourself.