Matthew 9:35-10:4 & May We See. May We Sing

Jesus sees and Jesus acts, do we?

When Jesus sees the crowds He is moved with compassion. The word behind compassion has no one English equivalent. It means compassion, pity, and sympathy and more. It is a visceral, gut-grabbing kind of compassion. Why don’t we see this way? The answer – sin. Sin blinds. It can blind in numerous ways to the crowds all around us. Prejudice, racism, hatred are all obvious blinders, but selfishness, materialism, and lust are equally as effective.

God’s Word, especially the truth of the gospel, helps us to see. We have to be taught to see. We have to be sanctified to see. Other tools are helpful as well, perhaps none more so than Operation World.

So what do you see when you look at the Muslim world? The Hindu world? The Buddhist world? The materialistic, pluralistic, atheistic, humanistic world? Are you moved deeply in your gut with compassion? When you look at India do you see the largest concentration and variety of the least-reached peoples on earth? Do you even look at India? When you look at Afghanistan do you see the 48,000 mosques, the absence of even one church building, and 70 unreached peoples? When you look at Africa do you see 13 of the worlds 20 least-evangelized countries? Do you see the 240 million Bengali who comprise the largest unreached people in the world? Yet, these statistics mean nothing if we have not been gripped by the glory of the gospel, that God saves sinners, for there is no one else to save.

But Jesus not only sees, He acts. His action is a call for action. He calls for His disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into His harvest. Some might see the need as so great and say, “What? Pray? That’s it?” No prayer is not to be our only action, but it is to be our first and greatest action. John Bunyan said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” Prayer calls down heavenly firepower, the only firepower that can storm the gates of hell, advance the kingdom, and rescue captives. The greatest doers are the greatest prayers, relying on power from above and not from within. God may bless in spite of us, but when we pray we will most often get what we can do – nothing (John 15:5)! But when we pray we get what God can do. The harvest is God’s. He sends out laborers, He gathers in the nations. Prayer is our greatest weapon. Nations are won because of prayer.

But Jesus’ action doesn’t end in His calling his disciples to prayer. He then answers that prayer in authorizing and sending His disciples to proclaim and act. We must be willing to be God’s answer to our own prayers. Really we should all be the answer to this prayer, the question isn’t whether or not we should be involved in world missions, but to what extent should we be involved? Really our hearts should be burning with desire asking, “To what extent can I be involved?” We shouldn’t have to wrestle so much with going to the mission field as much as staying here.

Do you see? Do you pray? Do you act? Do you proclaim? Do you act?

Do you sing?

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us, Selah

that your way may be known on earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you!

                                                    – Psalm 67:1-3

2 thoughts on “Matthew 9:35-10:4 & May We See. May We Sing”

  1. A website somewhat akin to Operation World that I found out about a few weeks ago (through DG blog, I think) is the Joshua Project (

    I don’t agree with the “if you’re not specifically called to America, you should go somewhere else to proclaim the Gospel” ideology. (I put it that way not because you did [though you said something akin to it], but because a number of people at my current church put it that way.)

    I do, however, think that we should struggle with wanting to do more than is in our means to do, which I think is the heart behind that ideology.

    One aspect that I enjoy (in concept, but don’t take advantage of in reality) is that there are several different areas that we can invest heavily in in the world evangelization movement. There’s of course being a missionary, and then giving financially. But there’s also general prayer and prayer for specific missionaries. There’s also sending letters/emails of encouragement to missionaries, etc. (For a list of ways to indirectly support missions by encouraging missionaries, see @ the desiringGod blog.) Of course, I know you know this… this is for others, rather than you. 🙂

    On a related note, I’m currently reading Piper’s “Hunger for God,” his book over fasting. In it, he devotes a chapter to fasting out of desire for Christ to return and, consequently, for world missions, revival, etc. He raised some piercing questions that have had me thinking today. How much do I /really/ want Christ to come back? (ashamedly little.) How committed am I /really/ to missions? (pitifully little.) For me, these questions go hand-in-hand with a quote that I often reference from Donald Miller: “what you believe is not what you say you believe; what you believe is what you do.”

    Anyway. Now I’m rambling. 🙂 Bye.


    1. To clarify, I don’t believe that we need to feel a subjective call to stay in America either, but we should realize that objective call fo all disciples to make Christ known to the nations. So then the question is in what ways will we be obedient to that call.

      What I am speaking against is thinking that missions is something others do. Missions is somthing the church does. Our hearts should be burning with missions such that we burn for Christ to be known in all the earth. Thus we ask how much we can be involved, and are prepared to sacrifice all for His name’s sake.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s