Seeing Through the Eyes of Jesus

Towards people who He regarded as “sheep”

Lost sheep in need of a shepherd – in need of Him Jesus is the good Shepherd of the sheep ….

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And, as the good Shepherd of the sheep, He has great compassion on them for they are lost and in need of a Shepherd – a Saviour

Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Every animal that God created has its own built-in defence mechanisms.

God, in His wisdom, placed within all living things the desire to survive and the means to do so

So, you may ask … What is the mechanism of self-defence of the common sheep? Is it lightening-quick speed?

No, not with those big round bodies and short legs Is it their ferocious roar and sharp teeth?

Nope!
Is it the incredible camouflage?

Puffy white creatures on rolling green hills? Don’t think so

We all know it isn’t their quick intelligence and cunning strategic thinking They are some of the dumbest animals on the planet

Some who are a little more in the know might respond to this question by saying that sheep have strength in numbers

To a wolf pack, however, that is the difference between a single entree and an all-you- can-eat buffet!

It is true that after the wolves are full and ready to take a nap, there will still be some sheep left alive for the next time, but that isn’t very encouraging to the ones who were eaten today

When God created sheep – He designed them to live in a symbiotic relationship with another species

They provide wool and food for humans, who in turn provide food and protection for the sheep

He designed them to need a shepherd
So people are like sheep – His sheep … and, they need a Shepherd

Lost people who do not know Jesus – people who are helpless and hopeless like sheep in the middle of a wolf pack – need a shepherd …

Need Jesus, the Great Shepherd
Jesus felt great and ‘deep-in-the-gut’ compassion for the people … the sheep

He looked at the multitudes that followed Him and felt, deep in His gut, serious compassion for them

He saw them with spiritual eyes … like He had a special pair of glasses through which He saw the people

And, for us to join with Him in bringing people into the Kingdom we need to see the sheep as He sees them…

VIDEO …

Jesus saw the sheep as lost and helpless because they did not have a shepherd and did not even know that they needed one…

Jesus goes on to say to His disciples…

Matthew 9:37 “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

The word “send” there is really to “thrust” or to “cast out”

It is the same word used for ‘casting out demons’ from a person who is in bondage or possessed

It is a violent term …

So, we, the believers, are to pray to God – the Lord of the harvest – to send / cast out / trust out / throw out workers into the harvest field…

At the time these words were spoken, there was only Jesus and His few disciples facing the entire world population

The question is simple: Where did they expect the answer to these prayers to come from?

When they heard Jesus tell them to beseech the Lord for more workers, in their mind and context what would be the source of these workers?

A host of angels? – Of course not!

The workers for the harvest must come from the harvest

There can be no other intent in the mind of Jesus or His disciples

We have made a terrible mistake by separating the convert from the worker

They are not two, but one
Each new convert is immediately a new worker

We sin when we expect the convert to wait a while, any time at all, to become a worker

Each new convert to the faith is a worker – immediately! Thus the use of a Greek word that is violent in it’s intent – “casting out workers”

It is best for a new believer to be immediately “cast out” into the harvest field and begin to tell other sheep about their experience of meeting Jesus, the Great Shepherd, and how He set them free from bondage to sin and demonic deception

Jesus meant that the “casting off of bondage” and the “casting out of workers” to be a single, redemptive move in a person’s life

You become a “new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Immediately you become a “minister of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18) And are now “an ambassador for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

We have made a terrible mistake by separating the convert from the worker

They are not two, but one
Each new convert is immediately a new worker

But, we think they are not ready … that they need to learn, grow, mature before we release them to minister in any way

It is like we think they are missing something – lacking in some way

What are they missing?

They are sealed with the Holy Spirit
They gain immediate and constant access to Almighty God
They have the power of the Word of God – the Scriptures – available to them
They are baptized in the Holy Spirit and so have power and the 9 gifts of the Spirit They are now living in the supernatural realm of the Kingdom
They have everything that pertains to life and godliness
They are washed clean of all sins and blights against heaven

Yet, we think they need more – that they are not ready
We want to “mature them” before we send them out as workers We want to add our training to all that God has already given them

That’s the height of pride … to think they have to go through our training before they are ready to “go into al the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19)

The workers for the harvest must come from the harvest

We want them to become mature – so we pump them full of information
But, information does not change a life or even help a great deal in walking with Jesus

So, we have a lot of sheep – Christians – who are full of information But, information does not change a person’s life

And their lives are not changing … information but not transformation And, they are not gaining in maturity and understanding

Maturity is gained through experience not information
Maturity is gained through applying and using what you have learned

Not by learning in a vacuum, sitting in church week after week and never sharing their faith with others

Maturity comes by being workers in the harvest fields

Because we have taken this approach and not “cast out” a new believer into the harvest field

Waiting until the new convert receives massive amounts of information, instruction, and training

We have effectively granted Christians permission to be passive, inactive, selfish, and stagnant

This is where almost all churches are at today in God’s Kingdom

We have taught people TO BE CONSUMERS rather than workers

We have separated the workers from the harvest and, as a result, we no longer see the lost sheep through the eyes of Jesus because we no longer see the lost … we are busy learning

We no longer have a heart for the lost …
We no longer understand their desperate situation and that they are sheep who

are helpless and hopeless living a meaningless life …
We have developed an entire generation of dependent consumers waiting for their leaders

to spoon-feed them the Bible verse of the week

Rather than an army of Kingdom agents ready to transform our culture with the power of the Gospel

The world sees no difference between the Christian and the non-Christian because we are demonstrating little or no difference in how we live our lives

All the teaching in the world does not transform lives … and to think it does means we are deceived

Each one of us must become actively engaged as “workers in the harvest field” and then we will grow and change

I mean, honestly, what are you missing that prevents you from being a “worker in the harvest field”?

What is really lacking?
Knowledge is not lacking – obedience is
Christians in North America are already educated beyond their obedience

And, more knowledge or education is not the solution Another sermon or another Bible study is not the solution

The solution is being “cast out” and sent as workers into the already ripe and ready harvest field

Stepping out in faith and daily telling others of your faith in Jesus PAUSE…

I am reading my Bible with new eyes … amazed at what I am seeing
I am looking at the Church with new eyes … amazed at what I am seeing
Example:
The very first “international missionary / apostle” sent by God to impact another nation

We don’t even know his name; all we know is his occupation and nationality
He was the Ethiopian eunuch whom God sent Philip to evangelize in Acts 8

Philip arrived on the scene, answered the eunuch’s questions, led him to Jesus, and baptized him in water at his request

The next thing we know is that Philip was dematerialized and was beamed to another place

The eunuch went on to Ethiopia with nothing more than some Old Testament Scripture in his hand and the Holy Spirit in his heart

I must ask: Is that enough?
He didn’t go through the new comers class or the new discipleship course
He hadn’t read the Bible yet or learned how to interpret and understand the Bible

Was God being irresponsible?

I don’t think any of us would claim that He was – God knows what He is doing and what was best for this new convert

Perhaps we need to increase our faith in the Holy Spirit and His Word, the Bible, and what that can mean in a new life … and in our lives

I believe that one of the reasons the Lord took Phillip away so dramatically was to establish for all of us that the Lord can use a new convert as a worker immediately.

The workers for the harvest must come from the harvest

New converts, by the way, are often more effective at winning the lost than we are:

1> The change and transformation in the person is still very visible and evident to their friends

2> They still have good relationships with their friends who do not know Jesus

3> The new Christian still speaks the language and knows the culture of those who are part of their world prior to coming to Christ

These advantages are lost if we cause a new believer to wait and grow in their knowledge of the Bible and the Christian faith

This seems to have been Jesus’ pattern as well … putting new believers to work immediately regardless of the danger they may end up in

He “cast them out”…”thrust them out” into the harvest field (world)

Jesus said:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” (Matthew 10;16) He sent the Gaderene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20) … tell the story The Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42)
The man born blind (John 9:1-41)

They were sent out into the public to do ministry immediately, with little or no human assistance Jesus also challenges us with the example of Matthew, the tax collector

In Matthew 9:9, Jesus looks in the tax office and calls out to Matthew (Levi)

He saw a tax collector, the most notorious of sinners, and said to Himself, “Ah, now there is an apostle.”

Tax collectors were so hated that they had a classification all their own
Jesus’ enemies accused Him of sending time with the ‘sinners and tax collectors’
It was as if there is a special place in hell reserved solely for these spiritual criminals

Tax collectors were considered to be traitors to their people

The same day Jesus called Matthew, Matthew brought all of his friends and relatives to his house for a party so that they could meet Jesus

When Jesus issued the challenge to pray for workers for the harvest, it was directed at this same Matthew – who was sent just a couple of verses later (Matthew 10:1-5)

The workers for the harvest must come from the harvest

He was not alone
He was not left without additional training

BUT, he also didn’t passively receive this training as a consumer for three years before moving out

He was an active worker in the harvest field right from the very beginning

To note:

I am not suggesting in the least that we leave new believers – any believer – without any human assistance or without teaching

Jesus told us to: Go into our world, make disciples, baptize them… “teaching them to observe all that He commanded” (Matthew 28:20)

But the key term is “to observe”

This means to be involved, to apply what is known and what is being learned This means to “obey” immediately….

So, my point:

Some of us have, in many ways, been lulled into a passive, inactive faith by the way the Church has functioned

We have become Christian consumers
We are well fed, well cared for, and, of course, in love with Jesus ….

But inactive in the Great Commission to “go into all the (our) world”

We are inactive in the “harvest field”
That needs to change… WE are the workers in the harvest field – ALL of us! And, to be workers – He is asking us to begin to see people differently

To put on new glasses and see people as He sees them – as sheep who are helpless and hopeless because they are without a shepherd

To see people with all their needs and hurts recognizing that Jesus is what they need

We need to see people through the eyes and heart of Jesus so that we have the heart to get started and become “workers in the harvest field”

We have all that we need – except that ‘heart for the lost’ that Jesus wants us to have The eyes to see what He sees when He looks at a lost sheep

And, once we lead someone to the Lord – once a person is born again – we must lead them in such a way as to get them actively involved is sharing their faith and the Gospel immediately

SO, BE OBSERVANT AND WATCH PEOPLE so you see them as Jesus sees them… Video of the bear and people in white

PRAYER:

Father, I pray that we would have compassion for the lost
That we would see them as you see them – sheep without a shepherd

Helpless and hopeless in the midst of wolves

Birth that compassion within us that we would move out of our comfort and safety and begin to share with others your good news of salvation and deliverance

Thank you for the honour of being co-workers with you … in your harvest field

We recognize that in our world today with all the issues and difficulties people are facing that they are in need of a Great Shepherd

Help us to see people as you see them – give us new glasses
Help us to see the obvious that we often miss because we are looking for something else

Help us to walk in your love and give it away so that our neighbours and fellow workers will know that You love them and sent your Son to die for them

Let us be the workers in the harvest field and then help us raise up the new workers as they come into the Church from the fields…

In Jesus Name…