When you think of Christ, what do you think of?
I’ll tell you what I think of most often – a deity, a mythical mystery man who was born into the world as a direct act of Gods power, who somehow changed the course of the world by loving us so greatly that he took on the evils of this world and dispensed of them through his worldly death. It is all a little… untouchable.
That is why Matthew introducing Christ is so important, I think. We are introduced to Christ as he was introduced to the world – not as a prophesized infant, but as a young man setting out to spread the Gospels. As he heals and grows a following, Christ reluctantly becomes a movement, and then a leader.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truely is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
-Matthew 9.36-39 (KJV)
In this moment, Christ realizes it is not enough to create more and more believers- he can lay the seeds and water the fields like any farmer can- but the work of farming is not laying the seeds, but reaping the harvest. Christ says that God will send forth the labourers, the leaders of faith – and he did in biblical times with the apostles, who took Christ’s word and spread the Gospel well beyond his life. Christ knew leaders would arrive, they would rise through the ranks of his believers and carry the message of faith far beyond himself. Yesterday Ashley wrote of how some of these leaders, like Matthew, were not prepared to become the shepherds and farm hands of faith – they had not spent their lives raised and trained up to do what God called them to, yet they responded faithfully.
I think of this passage a lot, because it reminds me of Christ’s faith in God, and his faith in his people. It is hard to wrap my mind around the idea of Christ as a man on the ground, a man of faith himself, but Matthew reminds us of this. He reminds us that while we live our imperfect lives, Christ and others faithfully responded to the call of leadership… and so we shall too.
Always trying to respond,