Matthew, Chapter 9

Matt. 9:27-35

Matt. 9:27 "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. 28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."

The two blind men followed Jesus. No doubt, someone had told them that Jesus passed by. No one had to tell these men that they were blind. They were well aware of their condition. They recognized Jesus as the "Son of David." In other words, they recognized him as the fulfillment of the promise God made to David that one of his seed would come and sit forever on an everlasting throne. Jesus asked them if they believed that he was able to heal their sight. They said, "Yea, Lord." Jesus did not ask them if they believed he would heal their sight. God is sovereign and his actions are sovereign. Our belief should be in the ability of the Lord not in the willingness of the Lord unless he has specifically promised us that he will do something. The faith of the blind men stood in their belief of the ability of the Lord. The Lord then touched and opened their eyes.

You would think that when such a great work is performed on someone that they would be obedient to the word of the Lord. The Lord did a great and compassionate work on these two blind men in giving them sight. He then told them to tell no man what he had done. Yet they disobeyed the Lord and spread abroad his fame in all the region. It is not a question of the Lord needing someone to tell about him. He Lord does not need our help for anything. We should be obedient to that which the Lord tells us to do. Yet we are so prone to do according to our own emotions and according to our way that we think should be done.
Most of us are not naturally blind as these two men were. We, however, are spiritually blind until the Lord opens our eyes that we may see and understand spiritual things. We have not the ability to open our own spiritual eyes. We should do as the blind men and cry out for his compassion that he may give us understanding of his word. Then we should be obedient to his word.

Next, there came to the Lord a man that was dumb and possessed of an unclean spirit. The Lord was also compassionate toward this man, cast out the unclean spirit, and caused the man to speak. The Lord has power over all sickness. There is nothing too great for the Lord.

When people do not believe in the Lord, it does not matter how many miracles they see or hear about. This will not change their mind. The Pharisees, rather than praising the Lord for all the compassion he showed and for all the power he demonstrated, they accused him of casting out devils through the prince of the devils. A dead person cannot learn anything. You cannot teach a dead person anything. These Pharisees were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and therefore could not believe in Jesus. The gospel will not change someone who is dead in trespasses and sins and give them spiritual life. Spiritual life comes directly from God and not through men.

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Jesus went about all the villages and cities. None could say "but he did not come here." Likewise, the Holy Spirit is present everywhere and testifies of the presence of God in the entire world. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. The gospel of the kingdom is still being preached. This is not a future kingdom, but is the same kingdom that John said was at hand in his day. The kingdom of heaven is the Lord's church kingdom here in the world. He has established it. He reigns over it. He has given the kingdom his government. He has given the kingdom its laws. He has given the kingdom its ordinances. He has given the kingdom its officers. He has given the inhabitants of the kingdom their every need and their instructions for their living and for their service.
Jesus also made manifest that he had the power of God by healing all manner of sickness and every disease among the people. Mortal man cannot do these things, only God.

Matt. 9:36-38

Matt. 9:36 "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. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

The first thing we notice in this passage is that Jesus had compassion on the multitude. Jesus is full of compassion for those he chose before the foundation of the world. The ninth chapter of Romans shows forth his sovereign compassion toward the elect: Rom. 9:15 "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."

In the scriptures the multitudes of God's people are frequently called sheep:
1. Mat 10:6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
2. Mat 15:24 "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
3. Mat 25:32 "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:"
4. John 10:2 "But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice."
5. John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
6. John 10:26 "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

A shepherd guides, watches over, protects, cares for, and feeds the sheep. Sheep, without a shepherd, are without guidance and are prey to the wild animals, and will succumb to disease and starvation. God's people, who have no shepherd, have no guide, are prey to the religious predators (false teachers, false prophets, false preachers, etc.) and others that would make merchandise of them and subjugate them to the religious works systems of the world. God's people, who have no shepherd, are not fed the proper spiritual food of God's word in order that they may grow spiritually.

God's people, like sheep, need a shepherd.

In addition, there is more than one harvest taught in the scriptures. There is the harvest of the elect into the glory world. God alone is responsible for this harvest. He does all the work and there will not be a loss of a single one. There is no need to pray for laborers in this harvest as God takes complete responsibility for bringing every one of the elect into the harvest.

A second harvest is into the Kingdom of God here in this time world. This is the church kingdom where God's people find refuge, rest, comfort, peace, and fellowship. They are also fed and watched over by the under-shepherds of the local congregations. Through the preaching of the gospel, they are guided into all truth. Through the teachings of this gospel kingdom they are delivered from many would be predators and false worship systems.

The Lord told the disciples that the fields are white to harvest. There are multitudes of God's people who have been born of the Spirit of God, but are not gathered into God's church kingdom here on earth. They are scattered abroad. God uses laborers (gospel ministers) to gather them into this church kingdom. They are gathered through the preaching and teaching of the truth.

The laborers, however, are few. Jesus told the disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest send laborers into his harvest. God is the Lord of the harvest. God alone can call a man to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord calls them and then sends them to their field of labor. Since the Lord told the disciples to "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" will he send those laborers even if they do not pray for them? It does not make sense that he would. To tell us to pray and then go ahead and do it if we don't pray would not encourage praying.

On the other hand, will the Lord withhold the laborers even if we pray? That does not make sense either. To tell us to pray and then withhold the blessing from us is contrary to the nature of our God. The congregations of God's people should be continuously praying that God send laborers into his harvest. It is through the laborers that many of God's people will be gathered into the harvest of God's church and feast upon his word and fellowship.