Today for my devotions I looked at two passages from Matthew. Matthew 9:35-38 and Matthew 28:18-20.
Matthew 9:35-38 NLT – Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT – Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In Matthew 9 we see a big part of Jesus’ ministry while here on earth – going. In verses 35-38 we see the sort of things He did.
1. Jesus went to the highways and byways. This means He went through the local towns to where the people where. He wanted everyone to hear the Good News.
2. He taught in the synagogues. These were the centres of religious faith and life for the Jews outside of Jerusalem.
3. He announced the Good News of God’s Kingdom being near. He wanted people to turn from their religious duties and/or pagan traditions to God Himself.
4. He healed every disease. Healing people not only showed compassion, but it also showed God’s authority was with Him and God’s Kingdom was breaking into this world.
5. He saw the people were lost and confused. He wanted to be their shepherd. He wanted to look after them and point them in the right direction.
At the end of this passage we see that Jesus asked His followers to pray for workers to go out into the harvest field to do the same things that He did.
Then we see in Matthew 28:18-20 that Jesus with His last words told His followers to go into the world and do the same things He did.
Jesus wanted His followers to…
1. Make disciples of all nations. This means to help people come to Christ for salvation, but also show them what it is to follow Jesus as our Lord.
2. Baptise the new believers. In the Bible it was normal for people to be baptised straight away. This was to declare and show their new commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.
3. Teach the new believers all of Jesus’ commands. This is so they can live right before God and make an impact on the world around them.
Jesus then reassures His followers that He is with them to the end of this age that we live in. To do His work, we need Jesus and the Holy Spirit with us.
In these two passages we see that Jesus not only went out in to the highways and byways with the Good News of God’s Kingdom, healed and showed compassion on people, but He asked us to do the same.
This makes me ask a serious question. What I am doing to follow Jesus’ example and His command today?
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your example of going in to the highways and byways to reach people fo Your Kingdom. I pray today that You will raise up workers to go out into the harvest field. I also pray that I might be one of them. You have shown me what to do, please help me to do the same. I ask in Your name, Amen.