Matthew 9:35-38 ESV
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
Proclaiming the Gospel
What was the gospel that Jesus proclaimed when he lived on this earth? I can tell you that it doesn’t look much like what most people are teaching and believing today. For, Jesus didn’t teach a belief in him which required no repentance, no obedience, or no submission to him as Lord (master).
For, he said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and self) and follow (walk in obedience to) him. For, he said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) that we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives for his sake (if we die with him to sin) then we have life in him (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 8:1-17).
John 6:52-54: “The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’”
So, what did Jesus mean by that? It is basically the same message he preached in what is recorded for us in Luke 9:23-26, that we, by faith in Jesus Christ, must be crucified with him in death to sin, and that we must be raised with him to newness of life in him, and we must live to him and to his righteousness. We must participate with him in his death and resurrection.
And this is not just accepting what he did for us, but it is actually involving ourselves in his death and resurrection, in us putting away the flesh, in us putting off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, in us being renewed in the spirit of our minds, and in us putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph 4:17-24; cf. Rom 6:1-23).
Matt 10:37-39: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Jesus demanded death to our old lives and that we walk in newness of life in him according to his will and purpose for our lives. He didn’t take second place. He demanded full surrender of our lives to him, and that he be the Lord (Master-owner) of our lives, the one now in charge of our lives.
For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood on that cross to redeem us (to buy us back for God) so that we would honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).
Jesus had compassion on the people to whom he was speaking, and for whom he was healing their diseases and afflictions. He had compassion on them for he saw them as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. For, they had no one to lead them in the way of righteousness and holiness, and they were probably being taken advantage of.
And truly that is the condition of much of the world today, including much of today’s flesh-driven “churches.” For, my nation and the church in my nation are severely lacking in men of integrity and morality and godliness to lead us in the ways of God and of his righteousness, for so many of them are self-serving and are building their own kingdoms on this earth.
Many are teaching a cheap grace gospel which does not demand death to sin or obedience or submission to Jesus Christ, but which leaves the sinner still bound in his sin while promising him heaven as his eternal destiny. And so, they are still living in immorality doing the things the ungodly do.
So, many of them are like sheep without a shepherd because of the depravity of man, and the lack of honor and respect for God, and because of the altering of the gospel to make it more palatable and acceptable to human flesh, and the lack of godly and holy men to lead them.
Thus, many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are being led by charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing, mere entertainers playing their parts for greed, for power, for prestige, and in order to deceive the masses.
Send Out Laborers
So, there is a call here for laborers to go out into God’s harvest fields, for there are many people out there needing to hear the truth of the gospel. And right now, at least here in America, the internet is mostly wide open for us to teach the truth of the gospel, though not everywhere.
So, if you are on the internet, which you must be if you are reading this, get connected somewhere where you can share with others the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it, but not in the way many people are teaching it today. So, don’t soft peddle it but give out the whole counsel of God.
For, we are all going to be judged by God by what we did on this earth, not by what we profess with our lips. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. So, please take this seriously.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:7; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
An Original Work / October 3, 2013
Based off Isaiah 53
Gospel message, who believes?
Jesus Christ died on a tree,
Saving us from all our sin,
So we might be cleansed within.
Had no beauty found in Him,
That we should desire Him.
Man of sorrows, suffering;
Crushed for our iniquities.
Surely He has borne our griefs;
From our sadness, brings relief.
Bore the stripes; forsaken, He,
So forgiven we might be.
We, like sheep, have gone astray,
Each of us turned his own way.
Jesus calls, “Repent today;
My commandments, now obey.”
Jesus said, to come to him,
We must die to all our sin.
Crucified with Him, we live,
Walking in His righteousness.
Suff’ring servants, we will be,
Taking His identity on us
When confessing Him
As our Savior, Lord and King.