When Will We answer The Call

Bible Book: Matthew  9 : 35-38
Subject: Mission; Evagelism

When Will We Answer the Call

Jerry Watts

Matthew 9:35-38

Today I thought we would use your scripture on the front of the bulletin.

READ TEXT.  I’m the chief of our Fire Dept in Agricola and, as you know, a Medical first responder.  Next, I’m considered a volunteer although this is not how I view it.  I consider myself a servant for the community.  Every time the pager goes off, I have to answer 3 questions:

Should I go?  Do I have the skills needed to assist in this situation?

Can I go?  When I hear the tone, before the dispatcher explains the call, I am thinking about my next 3 or 4 hours and what my schedule holds.  Can I actually go and stay long enough to help?

Will I go?  Here is the deciding question, “WILL I”!!  Will I inconvenience myself?  It’s 2am, it’s a long way out of my way, or I just don’t feel like it.  Candidly in the volunteer fire unit, many people who have been fully equipped to go, choose not to respond.  After all, it is their choice.

Please don’t miss this: The call of Christ extends to every person who has been saved, changed, forgiven, as well as given a place in Heaven.

Make no mistake, in this text Jesus is sounding the divine pager for every one of us who is a member of God’s family.  It is not a matter of “should I” or “can I”, it is a matter of “WILL I” or WHEN!!

2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Now is the acceptable time”. Candidly, we seem to have LOST this sense of urgency, of need, of NOW.  There may not be a tomorrow.  The question for us is the, “when will we answer the call?”  From these words of Jesus, we will respond when we do three things;

  1. When We “See Like Jesus Sees”

Jesus looked at the world through a simply vision.  He saw people who have a relationship with God and those who need such a relationship.  Right now, this room is filled with people in one of those two situations.  Some know & others need to know.  Where are you?  Knowing God through Jesus is more than attending church.  It is seeing needs beginning with you own.  It is looking beyond the obvious.

Jesus saw the Crowd

He saw the multitude. This is not a one-time event. Matthew 4, 5, 8, and here is 9 tells us that Jesus saw the crowds.  He also saw individuals.   He saw them as Sheep not as a Flock.  Jesus was all about people and wherever He went, he saw people.  Today, He sees YOU & He knows your name.  He has a plan for YOU.  But watch this: His calls you to Himself to be a help to others.  His call to you is for you to reach someone else.  You will only do this when you see like He sees.  Next;

Jesus saw the Condition

The Bible says that he saw them as weary, worn-out, and in desperate need of something but, like sheep, they have no idea what it is.  It might be better said to say they were weary and worn-out FROM searching.  He saw their hopelessness, He saw their hurt, & He saw their deepest need.  They only know that they NEED.  Sheep are not very smart. If left to their own, they are in danger.  Consider this:

Jesus saw the Crucial

 Sometimes we miss the crucial & default to the obvious or the immediate.  The crucial need was for a leader, a shepherd, a savior, they needed someone to give them hope, for today and eternity. We need Jesus – daily, hourly, minute by minute.  We need His grace, His friendship, & His salvation.  Jesus saw what they needed?

Our question is ‘what do we see’? Bible scholar and author D. A. Carson tells of a time when he and a friend named Ken were going to the beach for some much-needed peace and quiet, but when they got there they found a horde of high school kids celebrating graduation with lots of beer, loud music and, public displays of affection.  He writes, "Deeply disappointed  that my evening’s relaxation was being shattered by a raucous party, I was getting ready to cover my disappointment by moral outrage. I turned to Ken to unload the venom but stopped as I saw him staring at the scene with a faraway look in his eyes. And then he said, rather softly, ’High school kids—what a mission field!’" (D. A. Carson, When Jesus Confronts the World, p.110) I am praying that we see people like Jesus.  Seeing is 1 step toward answering.

  1. When We “Feel Like Jesus Feels”

Our text says He was “moved.”  We won’t empathize with Jesus and feel like He feels until we see like He sees.

Jesus Felt Compassion

In the Bible, the phrase “He felt compassion” or “moved with compassion” comes from one Greek word.  It a powerful picture of feeling so deeply that it hurts down in your gut.  Compare it to your son who is critically ill, & you want them to be well so bad it hurts.  Where does it hurt? In our abdominal area. Jesus’ concern was not peripheral, it was deeply felt.  Jesus felt compassion.

Jesus Felt Concern

He felt concern because of their situation.  They were worn, weary, fainted and scattered and Jesus knew without the right kind of help and leadership they, like sheep, were doomed.  This cannot be reiterated enough!  When will we fulfill our gospel ministry?  Only when we see, feel, sense and KNOW the need of those around us.

Jesus Felt Committed

He was committed to bringing relief.  He said, “Here’s our problem, few people see, fewer still feel and understand, and yes even fewer are willing to commit.” 

Jesus Himself knew that it would take an act of God for those who “claimed to be believers to commit.” He also knew this would only happy thru prayer. Jesus did all He could & now calls us to do our part.  

This brings us to the third requirement “if” we are going to answer His call.

  1. When We “Do Like Jesus Does”
  2.  – Reading these words you might ask, “What did He do?”

Jesus reviewed the situation

He simply said, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.”  As a person who has spent a little time on a farm let me say, “This is not good.”  If you have a good crop or even the potential of a good crop, you need workers.  If there are not enough workers, the crop will be lost.  In this matter of souls, that’s eternal death.

The stakes are high.  The situation is hopeless unless we get a grip on what Jesus sees, feels, and does.  We must first “know” people around us who are part of God’s harvest.  Do you understand the reason Jesus made these statements?  To show the need.  

Please listen; in most communities about 60% of our population are either at home and/or does NOT have a relationship with God through Christ.  We are told that 28% of those are just waiting for someone to invite them to a service where they can hear about Jesus and the change and hope HE offers a person.  Yet, on any given Sunday, most congregations will have less than a half-dozen guest in attendance.  

It is safe to say that most don’t know the situation.  I refuse to believe that God’s people don’t care, rather they just don’t know.  Jesus did.

Jesus revealed the solution

Jesus said, “Pray.”  Not just to anyone, but to the “Lord of the Harvest”.   Don’t miss this; Many do not pray for a Harvest because they instinctively know, that if they pray for a Harvest it will require “work” and truth is, we like our complacent lives.  We make our schedules, do our own thing, complain when the preacher or deacons mess up, and have a great time at “our little church”.  The solution for us is the same as for the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2.  “Remember (pray), Repent (turn), and return (put feet to your  prayers).  I submit that if we “pray” to the Lord then the Lord will give the harvest and lead us to be workers in that field.  His solution is found in us ‘answering His Call”.  The pager is going off, it has been since Jesus’ ascension.  

Jesus rallied the servants

Although not apart of the text we read, watch this.  After calling on the listeners to pray for workers, read the next chapter. He gathered His disciples, gave them power, gave them instructions, and sent them out!!  Listen, in good ole south lingo – “He put His money where His mouth was” because it was that important to Him.

This week in my reading I read a question which sobered or stunned me. It comes from the book “The church of Irresistible Influence” and it asks this question; “If your church were to close its doors today, who but your members would notice?”  If no one would notice, it makes me believe that we are not answering His call.


As I close this message, several things come to mind.  

First, we are not generally a lazy people, we are busy.  In fact, I dare say that many here will say that you have more than one device.  I’ve seen people with multiple radios, pagers, and phones.  So we are not lazy.

ØBut, we must prioritize. Herein lies the question, which one is your priority?  The first command says, “You shall have no other God before Me.” Whoa!  Our Lord calls you today, the tone is sounding.  What will you do?