New American Standard Bible
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
King James Bible
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Darby Bible Translation
Then saith he to his disciples, The harvest is great and the workmen are few;
World English Bible
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Young's Literal Translation
then saith he to his disciples, 'The harvest indeed is abundant, but the workmen few;
Matthew 9:37 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The harvest truly is plenteous ... - Another beautiful image. A waving field of golden grain invites many reapers and demands haste. By the reference to the harvest here, he meant that the multitude of people that flocked to his ministry was great. The people expected the Messiah. They were prepared to receive the gospel; but the laborers were few. He directed them, therefore, to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth reapers. God is the proprietor of the great harvest of the world, and he only can send people to gather it in.
Remarks On Matthew 9
1. We are presented with an instance of proper perseverance in coming to Christ, Matthew 9:1-2. Nothing was suffered to prevent the purpose of presenting the helpless paralytic to the Saviour. So the poor helpless sinner should come. No obstacle should prevent him. He should lay himself at his feet, and feel that Jesus holds over him the power of life and death, and that no other being can save.
2. Jesus has the power to forgive sins, Matthew 9:6. He claimed it, and worked a miracle to prove it. If he had it then, he has it still. To him, then, the lost sinner may come with the assurance that as he freely "then" exerted that power, so he is ever the same, and will do it now.
3. Jesus Christ is divine. Nothing could prove it more clearly than the power to pardon sinners. Only God can pronounce what shall be done with transgressors of His law, Isaiah 43:25. He that claims this right must be either an impostor or God. But no impostor ever yet worked a real miracle. Jesus was therefore divine. He can save to the uttermost all who come to God through him.
4. We see here the proper rule to be observed in mingling with the wicked, Matthew 9:10-13. It should not be of choice or for pleasure. We should not enter into their follies or vices. We should not seek enjoyment in their society. We should mingle with them simply to transact necessary business and to do them good, and no further, Psalm 1:1.
5. In the case of the ruler and the woman that was diseased, we have a strong instance of the nature of faith. They came not doubting the power of Jesus - fully assured that he was able to heal. So all genuine believers come to him. They do not doubt his power or willingness to save them. Poor, and lost, and ruined by sin, and in danger of eternal death, they come. His heart is open. He puts forth his power, and the soul is healed, and the sin and danger gone.
6. The young must die, and may die in early life, Matthew 9:18. Very short graves are in every burying-ground. Thousands and millions, not more than twelve years of age, have died. Thousands and millions, not more than twelve years of age, are yet to die. Many of these may be taken from Sunday schools. Their class, their teacher - their parents, sisters, brothers - must be left, and the child be carried to the grave. Many children of that age that have been in Sunday schools have died happy. They loved the Saviour, and they were ready to go to him. Jesus was near to them when they died, and they are now in heaven. Of every child we may ask, Are you ready also to go when God shall call you? Do you love the Lord Jesus, so as to be willing to leave all your friends here and go to him?
7. Jesus can raise up the dead, and he will raise up all that love him, Matthew 9:25. Many little children will be raised up to meet him in the last great day. He shall come in the clouds. The angel shall sound a trumpet, and all the dead shall hear. All shall be raised up and go to meet him. All that loved him here will go to heaven. All who were wicked, and did not love him here, will go to everlasting suffering.
8. We see the duty of praying for the conversion of the world, Matthew 9:37-38. The harvest is as plenteous as it was in the time of Christ. More than 600 million are still without the gospel, and there are not still many laborers to go into the harvest. The world is full of wickedness, and only God can qualify those who shall go and preach the gospel to the dark nations of the earth. Without ceasing we ought to entreat of God to pity the nations, and to send to them faithful people who shall tell them of a dying Saviour.
LibraryA Christlike Judgment of Men
'But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.' --MATT. ix. 36. In the course of our Lord's wandering life of teaching and healing, there had naturally gathered around Him a large number of persons who followed Him from place to place, and we have here cast into a symbol the impression produced upon Him by their outward condition. That is to say, He sees them lying there weary, and footsore, and …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Call of Matthew
The Call of Matthew.
"Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest '? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
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