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. 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 truly 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 9:35-38
The sending out of the twelve disciples is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Matthew records a few more details than the other two but all three accounts speak with one voice showing us the charge Jesus gives these twelve men. This latter part of Matthew, Chapter nine includes a detail that should not be overlooked when considering what Jesus was going to have these men do. Jesus sees the condition of God’s people in Judea and this moves Him to help them with great compassion.
The first thing that I want to point out is that these men were being sent out as an act of compassion. Even though they were to preach repentance, their message was to be one of compassion not threat. The gospel is not to be used to scare people into obedience. The goodness of God brings repentance (Romans 2:4), therefore the heart of the gospel message should be “Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9)
My second point is closely related to the first. When Jesus saw that people were hurting, He had compassion on them. So, how did He act on this? He did not send them to a psychologist. He did not send them to the local bar for a drink. He did not tell them to take up a hobby to distract them and make them feel better. He didn’t even send them to hear a contemporary Christian song. No, Jesus did not send help in any of the typical earthly devices used today. Jesus sent them preachers.
The key to finding peace in this broken world is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The simplicity of the preached word was what Jesus prescribed for the hurting child of God. Therefore, if we are hurting, the place to go is where we can hear the word of God preached faithfully from the Bible. And we should thank the Lord for raising up laborers for us to hear.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!Isaiah 52:7