Rabbi Daniel Lapin once made the following statement on a Financial Summit, as he was teaching on ancient Jewish wisdom on biblical finances: “When I’m interviewing someone I’m only interested in one thing: “Is he going to make my life easier or better. Is he going to improve my business bottom-line” In a job interview, such an answer is the best answer to the question about your long-term goals and dreams.
This is a uncompromising forthright statement, which in a sense speaks to what Jesus is pointing at in Matthew 9:37 -38 ,where He said: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Good employees or workers are very hard to find. This is not only the case for the secular world, but also for God’s Kingdom. The reason lies in precisely what Rabbi Daniel Lapin is pointing at: many are looking after their own interest. Apostle Paul also captures this so brilliantly in Philippians 2: 20 -21: “I have nobody else like him who will genuinely care for your needs. For all the others look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ”(BSB)
Matthew 9:37-38, shows that Jesus genuinely cares for people, a care and compassion that drives His ministry and drives His concern about how the work is going. We understand from the verses, that the work requires more workers. Upon which Jesus asks the disciples to pray to the Father that He may sternly bid people to go forth to the people in need. Why sternly? Benson Commentary puts this so beautifully:
The Greek word translated as send out properly means to thrust out, plainly implying the exercise of some degree of force. For it is an employ not pleasing to flesh and blood; so full of reproach, labour, danger, and temptation of every kind, that nature may well be averse to it. Those who never felt this, never yet knew what it is to be labourers in Christ’s harvest
In Matthew 10 & Luke 10:1-20, you can read about the glory and challenges that come with the work, such as: supernatural power, working among wolves, trial and betrayal, threats.
You see this work has nothing to do with our ambition, our vision, our dreams, capacities, promotion or honour. This is about the Father’s vineyard, with Christ as the irreplaceable Manager. This is about saving people. God only need workers who can add to the bottom-line and make the work easy! This work, requires that we observe the Manager. It is enough for the worker to be like Him. The work must be done as He does it, full of compassion for the harvest and not ambition and glory.
When Jesus was about to ascend to the heaven, He said:
I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We have every reason to believe that this command also applies to us today. Just as the Father sent Christ, Christ has sent us. There is an absolute requirement to walk in complete obedience and the same character of Christ. No room for self, but only for Jesus’s purpose, just as His time here on earth, keeping and tending only to the purpose of the Father.
One last point, it is required that the worker in the Father’s vineyard has a keen understanding of the boundaries of his job.
Acts 1: 6-8: So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him,
“Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom? He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Sometimes, just like the disciples we want to know things that are above our payroll and job description. But, what we are to be concerned about is doing what Jesus, the Manager says. And the beautiful thing is, He withholds nothing from us that the Father has told Him.
We are privileged that He considers us not only workers, He also considers us friends and family (we are of the same household now). We are friends, as longs a we do what He says. And, when we are His friends, He will make known to us, all that He has heard of the Father.
May we be the workers that the Son can depend on. May we willingly stay under His command so that He can reach this broken world through us. May we carefully observe to learn and pass on His ways.