Thursday, 18 February 2010

Pastoral Calling

Matthew 9:36 - 10:1 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."


The calling is for shepherds - the call of the harvest is a pastoral calling - where are the shepherds?

John 4:35 35 Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

The calling is not for evangelists - the Samaritan woman has sown the seeds - now He needs harvesters - pastor/teachers - to grow and collect the righteousness


Rich Owen said...

No WAY... I always thought this was THE evange/mission text. Ooops.

Guess it shows what complacency leads too.

There are actually two very basic points of exegesis there:

1. The need is for shepherds.
2. That which is harvested must (durr) have already been sewn!

Thanks Dev!


Rich Owen said...

But then when you read on into chapter 10...

Jesus is now sending out his disciples and who is he sending them to? The lost sheep of Israel. And what is he sending them to do... preach about the kingdom.

So the call in Ch 9 is for Pastors for the harassed church - people to water the good seed so that the fruit of righteousness may grow. To shepherd the blood bought flock. But as with elsewhere in the NT (eg 2 Tim 4) the role of pastor includes the work of an evangelist - searching for lost sheep. Lost meaning lost, not stray.

So in this section I think Jesus starts with the pastoral call, but the widens out his compassion to include the lost sheep as well as the blundering flock.

yemsee said...

but Rich..
the thing is the disciples are acting as harvesters - remember who they are being sent out to - the 'visible church'

later when Jesus sends the disciples out to the world... the 'mechanics' change...

they're in for the long-haul of sowing, planting, growing, reaping
(Luke 22:35-36)