Thursday after the Transfiguration of our Lord
Scripture: St. Matthew 9:27-38 (NKJV)
27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” 31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.
32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
“But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'”
The people had men who pretended to be teachers, laborers, and shepherds according to God’s Word. But they were false teachers, and they brought the people more burden than help. They created heavy burdens for the people with false works of the Law and offered no comfort in the holy blessings that would come from God’s anointed Good Shepherd.
This problem continues to plague the multitudes to this day. The Word of God is widely available for all nations to hear, but too many of the so-called-laborers have twisted the Law and the Gospel into a message that brings weariness and disorder rather than repentance and peace in Christ crucified.
Such false laborers should not be seen as “better than nothing.” They harm God’s sheep. They starve His lambs. As our Lord says, we are to pray for faithful laborers who come from the Lord of the harvest and bring His true blessings. He has established faithful pastors and orthodox congregations in this world, and His gifts of faithful preaching, Baptism, and the rightly administered Lord’s Supper are made available to God’s lambs!
We pray: Heavenly Father, Lord of the harvest, continue to send faithful laborers who rightly teach our need to repent according to Your holy Law, and who faithfully feed us on the gifts of Your Gospel and Sacraments, unto forgiveness and everlasting life in Christ Jesus. Amen.