“Jesus told them,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2 NIV
This verse was in our prayer study of the life of Jesus in the INSTITUTE. Many times I have read this passage. I have been impacted by it personally over the last year or so. I finally took the time to look into the original language of this verse and unpacked some important things. I thought I would share them with you here:
Jesus said it twice!
This verse is parallel to the passage in Matthew 9:37-38. But even though it is parallel, Dr. Luke seems to make it clear that this is the second time Jesus said the same thing.* If Jesus thought it was important enough to say twice…we better listen!
Jesus used a strong contrast!
The contrast between the “many crops”/”much harvest” and the “few” workers is a pointed part of the statement. In fact, the word used for “few” here is the same as in Matt 7:14; “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus used strong language!
The words in the instructions are not wimpy.
The word often translated as “pray” or “ask” is the word BEG or IMPLORE. Begging is something most of us try to stay away from doing…but that is what Jesus tells us.
We are to beg the Lord OF THE HARVEST–not anyone else. No one else has control over the harvest like the Lord of it, so we are to ask Him.
The word “send out” is the same as “CAST OUT” like what Jesus did to demons. In the context of the Matthew passage after He says “send (cast) out workers”, the text goes on and uses the same word; “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits…” (10:1)
That’s a power packed instruction from Jesus!
About a year ago, my friend Ed Waken from Valley Life Church in Phoenix told me about Luke 10:2 and especially the “B” part of the verse… Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
He told me that he infected me with the Ten2b virus. This is a good virus…not like most. He told me about this passage and challenged me to pray. In fact, he got t-shirts done up to get people praying. The reason for dubbing it a “virus” is the hope that it will spread virally…to everyone it touches. Now you are being exposed to it!!!!
If you’ll indulge me in a little practical application for this…
Everyday my cell phone alarm goes off at 10:02am. Most days I am cruising along and not thinking much about Jesus’ desire to see a harvest, and my alarm goes off.
Normally I stop and pray right then and there…maybe a sentence or two. Maybe just recite the verse. Sometimes I’m in the middle of something, and I stop and tell the people around me why my cell phone is going off. Today, I took time an prayed for just about every worker from thequest…and prayed for more!
Just this weekend I helped another house church planter in Eastern Pennsylvania set his alarm to 10:02am so he can start praying Luke 10:2b each day. The virus is spreading….have you caught it?