Vol. 16 No. 9
September 5, 2017
We “face up” to enjoy our relationship with our loving Lord, we “face in” as we grow in friendships of the heart with others who follow our Lord. We “face out” as we engage our world on behalf of our Lord with missional intent.
This passage describes our Lord’s heart of compassion as he “faced out:” “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36*
I like to imagine the twelve apostles are sitting at Jesus’ feet when he is feeling that compassion and that just before Jesus says the famous words in the next verses of Matthew he first leans over to his apostles and whispers “Turn around!”
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38*
In other words, Jesus gives his disciples “people eyes,” a term coined by Chuck Miller to describe receiving the eyes of Jesus to see the people around you as Jesus sees them: harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus says, “ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest,” he asks you to “face out” and to see yourself as such a laborer with people eyes.
Jesus’ ministry is that of tending sheep and sending shepherds.
All of us are sheep and he also sends us to be shepherds who offer the love of God to those in our lives. So face out and see yourself as sent!
Joy to you -
E. Stanley Ott