Our world talks a lot.
There’s a constant roar of noise, a myriad of opinions, an onslaught of messages, and constant jostling for position for our mind’s attention. This constant war for our thoughts has left us confused and often alone.
As believers, we’ve jumped in the rat race of the noise generation. Albeit, with good intentions, we have a message about a Person that we believe in and trust that the world needs to hear.
However, good intentions alone have never changed the world.
To a world full of opinions, issues, questions, doubts, truths, standards, and hopes, Christianity and the Gospel simply become another ‘message’ and noise that fades in and out in front of them.
So what do we do?
And after we’ve listened for awhile, we listen more.
Before Matthew 10:1-15, one of the most evangelistic passages in scripture (and one of the foundational passages for Disciple-Making Movements), Jesus unpacks the heart and tone for which we need to approach our world.
‘And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefor pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’
...So what do we do?
We follow Jesus’s approach:
He went to them. (v. 35a- ‘Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages)
In a noisy world, the last thing people want/need is another place to go hear another message. A gospel that shows itself in their world, their space, is one that grabs their attention.
He affected (touched) them. (v. 35b-…healing every disease and every affliction)
Jesus transformed their physical world. He didn’t just make it a “spiritual change” although He understand that was far more valuable, he actually affected their current situation. Our world needs to see and feel the tangible Gospel.
He looked at them. (v. 36- ‘when he saw the crowds’)
It wasn’t until “he saw the crowds” that it said, “he had compassion for them.” When we talk AT PEOPLE we don’t get compassion FOR PEOPLE. When we honestly look at them, compassion builds. When compassion builds, the Gospel flows.
There is nothing better than to actually feel like someone “sees you.” Imagine the brokenness in our world. What would happen if all those hurting people finally felt like someone “sees them”?
The passage concludes, “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” It’s easy to find “Gospel noise generators”, but the laborers who listen and actually “see brokenness” are few.