Monday, July 5, 2010
SHEEP WITHOUT THE SHEPHERD - JULY 6TH TUESDAY – Mt 9: 32-38)
1. When we analyze the miracles of Jesus in Chapter 9 of Mathew, first we see Jesus giving life to the dead; then sight to the blind and speech to the dumb. There seems to be a spiritual sequence in the miracles here. Life first, then understanding and then testimony.
2. Harvest: The harvest is defined as ‘the close of the age’. This identification is based on the Old Testament texts (Is 24:13; Joel 3:13). The close of the age will witness a coming together of all peoples for judgment. The workers can help people prepare for the harvest.
3. Disciples and the spiritual off springs were Jesus’ plan for continuing his ministry to a lost world. If he failed to prepare his workers, his ministry would die when he left. Every spiritual leader today should not stop with mentoring but should also multiply. Jesus did not identify the Lord of the Harvest. In 10:5 He Himself sends out the disciples and so it is clear that the Lord of the Harvest is Jesus Himself.
4. Sheep without a Shepherd: The image of Israel as the lost sheep is rooted in many O.T texts. Jesus shows compassion towards his people and wishes to serve as their shepherd. The word compassion or mercy here means ‘intestines’, ‘bowels’. Jesus was physically moved by a stomach wrenching empathy when he saw the plight of the people.
5. The attitude of the Pharisees and the people stands in contrast. People were amazed but the Pharisees suspected Jesus to have His source in Satan. To attribute the miracles which He performed by the Holy Spirit to the power of the Satan was the sin against the Holy Spirit of which Jesus speaks.
Every Christian is called to be the disciple of Jesus Christ. The very fact we know Jesus Christ, we are already counted among the sheep under the protection of our chief Shepherd. We have the duty to bring all the scattered sheep back to the fold. To do that we need to first belong to our Shepherd (Jesus) and the sheep fold (The Church). It demands deep trust and faith on our part. Most of the times, it is we who are suspicious about the spiritual realities and last ones to believe in the miraculous power of our Lord. We need to come down from our mere objective faith (rational and notional) to trusting faith without falling into superstitions.
Sacra Pagina Series
Holman’s Commentary on the New Testament
Believer’s Bible Commentary