Sunday 14 April 2024

The Call to Labor in the Lord's Harvest: A Divine Commission Gospel of Thomas Saying 73

(73) Jesus said: The harvest is indeed great, but the labourers are few. But pray the Lord, that he send forth labourers into the harvest.

Title: The Call to Labor in the Lord's Harvest: A Divine Commission

In one of his teachings, Jesus imparts a profound message about the abundant harvest awaiting but the scarcity of laborers to bring it in. Through this saying, Jesus emphasizes the urgency of the task at hand and calls upon his disciples to pray for more workers to join in the divine mission.

Jesus begins by painting a vivid picture of the vastness of the harvest, symbolizing the abundance of spiritual fruit waiting to be gathered. The fields are ripe, ready for the reaping, yet the laborers are few. In this simple analogy, Jesus highlights the pressing need for more workers to engage in the spiritual harvest.

The essence of Jesus' message lies in the significance of laboring in the Lord's harvest. He echoes the sentiment expressed in Matthew 9:37-38: "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." Here, Jesus underscores the importance of prayer in invoking divine intervention to raise up workers for the harvest.

Furthermore, Jesus emphasizes the divine sovereignty over the harvest. He refers to Yahweh, the Lord of the harvest, indicating that the laborers are called and sent forth by God Himself. This aligns with the biblical concept of divine calling and commissioning, as seen in Isaiah 6:8, where Isaiah responds to God's call, saying, "Here I am. Send me!"

The saying also echoes the principle of divine selection, as highlighted in Matthew 22:14: "For many are called, but few are chosen." Jesus implies that while the invitation to labor in the harvest is extended to many, only a select few respond and are chosen for this noble task. These chosen laborers are characterized by their dedication, perseverance, and willingness to work tirelessly for the sake of the kingdom.

In urging his disciples to pray for more laborers, Jesus emphasizes the communal aspect of the mission. He invites believers to join together in fervent prayer, seeking God's provision for the expansion of His kingdom. This reflects the biblical injunction in Ephesians 6:18-19: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel."

In conclusion, Jesus' teaching on the abundance of the harvest and the scarcity of laborers serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing mission of the church. As followers of Christ, we are called to participate in the divine work of bringing in the harvest of souls. Let us heed Jesus' call to prayer and join together in earnest supplication for more laborers to be sent forth into the Lord's harvest. For in laboring together with God, we partake in His redemptive work and advance His kingdom on earth.

This is another variation on the theme 'Many are called but few are chosen' (Matthew 22.14).
The saying is about the selection of the worthy few. The worthy disciples are few hardworking field hands bringing in a large harvest.

73)## Jesus said, "The harvest [of the fruit of God's Word] is great but the laborers [Elect who toil day and night for this food] are few ["many are called but few are chosen."]. Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out [call more] laborers to the harvest."

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