lord of the harvest

Lord Of The Harvest. AG Sunday School Teachers

*Memory Verse: Matthew 9:37, 38*


_The harvest is truly pretentious, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into into his harvest_ (KJV).
*Central Truth*
_God is calling His people to wholehearted involvement in service and evangelism_
*The Lesson Outline*
*1. Workers Needed*
A. Messengers Sent
*Luke 10:1*
B. A Great Harvest
*Luke 10:2*
*2. Followers Commissioned*
A. Going by Faith
*Luke 10:3-9*
B. Handling Rejection
*Luke 10:10-12*
*3. Reasons For Rejoicing*
A. Jesus the Source of Power
*Luke 10:17*
B. Belonging To Jesus
*Luke 10:18-20*
*Learning Objectives*
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

1. Acknowledge the urgency in reaching the lost with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Make a wholehearted Commitment to the service of God and His Kingdom.

3. Determine to be a good and faithful follower of Jesus Christ to the end.
*Introducing the Lesson*
Jesus’ earthly mission was an urgent one. He had to preach the gospel to the lost sheep of Israel. He stayed only a short time in each
place so no part of the country was neglected. He preached in cities,
villages, and the open country. Uppermost in Jesus’ mind every moment was the lost condition of people. With Him were individuals
He had chosen to help spread the good news. They, too, could stay
only a short time in each place. Time was important and nothing was allowed to distract them from their work.

Rather than the Twelve who became apostles, this week’s lesson
looks at a group commonly referred
to as the “other seventy.” Their names are not listed, but their mission was vital.
*The Holy Scriptures*
*Luke 10:1* “`After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

6. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9. And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11. Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.“`
*Commentary and Application*
*1. Workers Needed*
A. Messengers Sent
*Luke 10:1*
Jesus’ instructions to the “other seventy were similar to those He
gave the Twelve when He sent them out, for their task was the same (Luke
9:1-6). Luke is the only Gospel writer who recorded the mission of these unnamed 70 disciples.

Chapter 10 marks a break in the narrative, hence it is introduced with the phrase, “After these things,” Chapter 9 records a variety of activity and teaching, culminating in Jesus’
encounter with three individuals who seemingly wanted to follow Him but did not comprehend the full meaning of discipleship. This providesa good
background for Jesus’ commission of
the seventy who did understand meant to commit themnselves to
Him in chapter 10. In some ways Jesus’ sending out this large number fore-shadowed the Church’s great
missionary movement of the future. They had one goal: Introducing lost
people to the one and only Saviour.
*Question for Application*
_Why did Jesus send these’messengers out in pairs instead of individually?_
This was common practice among Jews and was adopted by the
Early Church (Acts 13:2; 9:22). It provided companionship and support, especially when difficulties and discouragement were
encountered. Travel in those days was sometimes dangerous and a robber was less likely to attack two
people than one who was alone.

The task of the 70 missionaries was simple. If the populace of a community had already heard of
Christ and His message before they saw. Him in person, they would be
better prepared to listen to Him. Introducing the people to Him was
the only reason for those disciples to
make their journey.
B. A Great Harvest
*Luke 10:2*
*Question for Application*
_Why did Jesus use agricultural illustrations so often?_
Palestine was a iand of harvests – several of them each year. When
Jesus and His followers walked the roads, they constantly saw both
sowers and reapers. On some occasions a farmer would be sowing
barley; at another time it was wheat.
At different times he. would be reaping the two crops. Grapes were
also an important crop, and the time they were gathered was an occasion of great joy and celebration. The
same was true of the season when olives were harvested.

Jesus’ audiences were familiar with these scenes. Such familiar
illustrations made spiritual truths
more easily understood. Preparing the soil, sowing the seed, getting rid of weeds, caring for the growing crop, and harvesting grain or fruit-
all these aspects of farming clearly
presented the work Christ wanted His followers to do.

To Jesus the multitudes who kept coming to hear Him presented a
picture of waving fields of ripening grain. The spiritual harvest He saw
everywhere was great. Jesus knew that what is true of the natural harvest is true of the spiritual. The grain must
be cut neither too soon nor too late. When the grain has ripened to maturity, no more time should pass before it is reaped. What a tragedy for a farmer to labour strenuously for so long to have a good crop and then lose it at harvest time.

However, t the crop could be lost if there is a lack. No matter how promising the e harvest is, it wil be lost if it is left: standing in the field.
Bringing it into the barn is hard Work.
In those days far more human hands were needed than in our time when machines have made farm work so
much more efficient.

We should note that Jesus refers
to His Father as the Lord of the harvest and calls it His harvest. None
of us are in competition with other workers. We are all working together
in His harvest. It is important that
Jesus connected the sending forth of
labourers with our prayers. When We
pray earnestly for labourers to be
provided, it makes us more sensitive
to our personal responsibility in the
harvest. We will be less inclined to assume someone else is doing it.
The Holy Spirit will cause us to feel the burden to work in our own section
of the harvest field.
*2. Followers Commissioned*
A. Going by Faith
*Luke 10:3-9*
The mission of the Seventy was
important, but it was also dangerous.
They had to be prepared for hostilfty which might present physical danger
to them. Jesus drew parallel between them and sheep who grazed in country where wolves roamed. The entire group must beprudent and watchful. Even though they had an urgent mission, they must not provoke unnecessary
confrontations. However, they should not be paralysed by fear, for they were not defenceless. They were God’s sheep and were under His care and protection.
*Question for Application*
_Should Jesus instructions in verse 4 be considered binding on all who go out to preach?_

This was a unique situation with the atmosphere of an emergency. The seventy were ordered to travel light, not being burdened with baggage that would have slowed them. They were not even to take
extra food. While on the road they had to refrain from greetings they
would ordinarily have given. Greetings in the days of the Bible were more than just a simple “hello” and “good-bye.” They were very repetitious and time-consuming. The
restriction for refraining from greetings would enable the disciples
to use every moment for fulfilling their task.

For the Seventy, their journey was also a step of faith. Instead ot
being concerned about food and lodging, they were to depend on the
people where they ministered. Jesus
prepared them for the fact some doors would be slammed in their faces. In such cases they simply move on until they found a family that would receive them.

Moving from one house to another in the same town wouldinvolve valuable time, so they were to make their headquarters in the first
home that took them in. While there
they were not to make special demands, but accept whatever
hospitality was extended to them. Jesus’ statement, “The labourer is worthy of his hire,” seems to be an
assurance their necessities would be met.

The Important point in this account is that these men were going
under Jesus’ authority. With this authority they Were given power to
heal the sick in His name. This would
link their ministry with His, for He would do the same when He came.

B. Handling Rejection
*Luke 10:10-12*
In addition to preaching in whatever town that would receive
them, the Seventy also had to be prepared to be rejected, not just by
individuals but by entire
communities. In such cases they were not to engage in heated debate,
but move quickly to another town.
However, before they left, they were to warn the populace about what
they had done and the resulting
judgement. Receiving the message of Jesus would have meant life for
them: rejecting it meant doom. These
disciples carried a life-and-death message. Hostility toward them was not a rejection of them personally, but
a rejection of the Messiah, the Lord
Jesus Christ.

Shaking the dust from their feet was a gesture symbolising their total
abandonment of the community. While doing this, the disciples were
told to remind the people that whether they responded favourably
or not, the kingdom of God had come near them. They had been given their opportunity. Proclaiming the message was the disciples’ responsibility. Receiving or rejecting
it was the listeners’ responsibility. This principles is just as true for people today as it was for people then.
*Question for Application*
_Why would it be more tolerable’ for Sodom in the day of judgement than for cities that rejected the message of the Seventy_

Sodom was unspeakably
wicked, but it had not received the
light of the gospel. The severity of
judgement will be worse for those
who have had greater spiritual
privileges and opportunities. This
truth will apply just as much to
nations today who have been saturated with the preaching of the gospel, but have spurmed it and
abandoned themselves to wilderness.
*3. Reasons for Rejoicing*
A. Jesus the Source of Power
*Luke 10:17*

The power to cast out demons seems to have brought these disciples the greatest sense of
victory. If they did not realise it before,
they knew then that twO spiritual kingdoms are struggling to control
the world. They saw they were part of the kingdom of righteousness, of
which Jesus is the Head. He had given them power to overcome the power of Satan’s kingdom.

The disciples Would not have dared to face such evil forces in their own strength. They had seen what happened when Jesus himself cast
out demons. And when they went out under His authority, they witnessed the same results in their own ministry. We note that in their rejoicing they
made it clear that the submission of the demons was through the Name of Jesus. Like all of God’s servants,
they were channels through which Christ’s power flowed. He uses
people. He uses human hands, feet and lips. Yet, it is God who is alway
the Source of power.
*Question for Application*
_What is significant about using the name of Jesus against Satan_
It means more than a
mechanical “in Jesus name” to our prayers (as if adding this name
the same as s using magic words to make a magic formula work). It shows a recognition of Christ’s authority over us and over Satan. It confirms our identification with Him, and it acknowledges that we serve under Him and do not depend on ourselves.
B. Belonging To Jesus
*Luke 10:18-20*
*Question for Application*
_What did Jesus mean by His statement in verse 18, “I beheldSatan as lightning fall from heaven?_
As the Son of God, Jesus was aware of all the activities of these
men as they travelled. Verse 18
indicates His joy over their victories.
Demons are part of Satan’s kingdom.
Each time one is cast out it is another
defeat for that ingdom. It was as
though Satan fell suddenly like a bolt
of lightning. His control over another person was removed each time a
demon was cast out.

In verse 19, Jesus repeated His assurance of the power His servants would have in their ministry.
Serpents and scorpions represent
the hamful, destructive powers of evil. To be sure they understood how triumphant they would be over spiritual opposition, Jesus used the expression. “over all the power of the enemy. To reassure them they had nothing to fear from those who opposed the gospel. He said,
“Nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Knowing the tendency of human nature to focus so much on its own
success. Jesus then told the disciples to keep their values in
perspective. Knowing they belonged to Him, that their names were on the roll of the redeemed, was more important than having power to cast out demons.
*Call to Discipleship*
The Lord expects every Christian to be out in the harvest field, gathering
Souls into His kingdom all of his life. We cannot excuse ourselves fom the
responsibilities because, we feel we lack the talents other people have. God has made each of us to fili our own place in His kingdom.

This lesson is aimed at Christians than the unsaved, however, this does not mean attention should not be given to urging unsaved students to accept
Christ. The Scripture passages for this lesson emphasises Christ’s power
toward those who believe and His judgenent for unbelievers. This can be the basis for both the saved and unsaved to share in His love and salvation.
*Ministry in Action*
As Children of God, it is important that we make ourselves always
available to be used by God in the harvestof souls.

The work of planting and harvesting reaquires many things to carry it out, it
is not different from evangelism. It also requires many human hands and
material resources to do the work.

We must avoid the misconception that winning souls is the work of only
those God calls to a pulpit ministry.






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