When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
Up until this point in Matthew 9, Jesus’ ministry consisted of him healing a lot of sick, lame and blind people, raising a woman from the dead, casting out demons, calming a raging storm, and teaching some pretty crazy sermons. Matthew 9:36 is the icing on the cake that sums up why Jesus did what He did—He has incredible compassion for people who are wandering in darkness and have no clue. After Jesus looked over the lost crowd, He declares, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (vs. 37-38).
That’s why we do what we do! Jesus has instilled in us that same compassion to serve the lost sheep. We are the workers who are being sent into the harvest field. The only stumbling block to jumping head first into the ministry God has called us to do is raising support. Because of this, it can often be seen as a necessary evil that has to be attacked with everything we’ve got, even if it means using worldly techniques under the guise of being used by God.
From our perspective, raising support really doesn’t make sense to us, does it? Workers are needed, and we have to wait until we raise money in order to be used by God. However, if we will come at it from Christ’s perspective, it becomes clear to us.
Think about it. Jesus didn’t just go from being a carpenter to the cross to die for our sins. He could have. All that was needed for our relationship to be restored was a perfect sacrifice. But it didn’t happen that way. Can you imagine what Jesus’ prayers would’ve sounded like if He had our same attitude:
“Hey, Dad, I mean, really? Why can’t I just go ahead and give My life for these people already? That’s what You called Me to do, isn’t it? I don’t understand why I have to wait so long. I’m needed right now. I mean, Satan needed to be defeated, like, yesterday.”
That prayer seems absurd, yet we whine all the time like that to God—at least I do! Jesus, instead, chose to do ministry in the moment. For three years, before His final work—what we could argue, His “real” work, He poured Himself into a ragtag bunch of guys whom He pulled from not-so-reputable jobs in order to use them to change the world.
He showed compassion to those who, like you and I, were like sheep without a shepherd. Praise God for that! Therefore, He shared life with the disciples and showed them the need around them, so they could pick up with the ministry after He had left them. Without that, where would missions be today?
The people around you need to see the world beyond their sight and have Christ-like compassion toward them. So, instead of using the support-raising journey as a list of complaints as to why you’re being held back from your real ministry, use it as way to further missions as Jesus did. Paint a picture of what God is doing here and around the world and get people excited about it. This doesn’t mean you have to spend three years doing another ministry in order to do your real work. No! It just means that you need to see the importance as to how raising support can have a multiplying effect on missions. Remember, there is a greater purpose to raising support than just money. Use it to its fullest potential!
Please change my attitude about having to raise support. Help me to use the compassion You’ve given me for the dying world and change the hearts of those around me to understand the importance of missions. I pray that the world is changed by the multiplying effect of having the compassion to doing ministry in the now. Thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me of allowing others to join You in Your work. I praise God I can’t do this alone.