Need and Supply

Read This Week: Matthew 9

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. 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 workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:35-38 NIV

Matthew chapter 9 is a tour de force in this gospel. This chapter is full of so many significant events and happenings including, Jesus calling Matthew himself to follow Him and be one of his disciples. The other sections are full of details of the public ministry of Jesus and the various people he touched and healed like a paralytic, a sick woman, a dead girl, and two blind men, one of whom was also a mute.

Yet, the calling of Matthew stands out among all of these events. It is significant to the author, but it is also critical to the challenge that Jesus issues to His followers at the end of the chapter. Jesus’ plea to Matthew is significant in its context for two reasons. 

First, it happened in public where others could observe it because of the societal scorn that tax collectors received from the people. Matthew’s employment made him a figure of contempt for many of his Galilean contemporaries, and Jesus undoubtedly wanted to make an open statement about who can be his disciple by calling a person everyone despised. Secondly, we can’t overlook the response of Matthew to the calling itself. The Bible tells us that it was simple, pointed, and obedient. Verse 9 says he got up and followed him.

In this passage and the other gospels, Matthew’s response to Jesus is immediate and without wavering. It shows us that he did not argue or protest. He didn’t ask a lot of questions or inquire as to how it would be done and what it would take. He didn’t engage Jesus in a religious discussion, and he didn’t have a lot of excuses about how busy he was or how it would impact his life and business. He didn’t even tell Jesus that it wasn’t a good idea in light of his social standing. He simply leaves everything to follow Christ.

And not only does he follow him, but Matthew also hosts a party at his house with his colleagues, friends, and others from the community. He could not wait to share what happened to him and introduce his circle to Jesus. This is a powerful example for us of what it means to surrender to and follow God. It also is an incredible segue into Jesus’ final teaching in the chapter after he sees the spiritual and physical condition of the people and has compassion on them. He turns to his disciples and says to them:

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  

Jesus is essentially saying that the need is immense and the supply must answer it. There is so much to do for the kingdom and to bring glory to God. So many people are hurting, struggling, confused, and seeking. The spiritual needs in our cities, towns, communities, and neighborhoods are vast and require those who know Jesus to step out, go and supply His love in sharing the good news of salvation.

May we see this and be like Matthew when he was called. May we not waver for one minute, but in the power of Christ, get up and follow. May we go above and beyond and throw a party so we can tell everyone we know. May the need for the gospel never be greater than the supply.


  1. Ken on June 30, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I love how Matthew rapidly responded to Jesus. In my experience and observations, being a Rapid Responder to God, is one of the great keys to success.

    I also like that he had a party. Celebrating with God and the people in your life, is a great way to not only cement your decision, but to powerfully evangelize the people you care about as well.

    Lord, may you help us to be Rapid Responders and to celebrate our lives with you and others.

    • Jason on July 8, 2021 at 10:34 am

      I love the term “Rapid Responder” in the context of Matthew 9, Ken. I’ve heard you use that before and it is always a good and timely word for followers of Jesus. May we indeed be rapid responders and prompt with our obedience and passion to follow Christ, celebrate God, and declare what He has done in our lives with our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the world.

  2. Heidi on July 3, 2021 at 8:27 am

    I also was drawn to the part where Jesus called Matthew and he got up and followed Jesus. Wow! Then he must have been so blessed that Jesus called him, he felt so much love, that he just had to share with others what had happened to him. So what did he do? He had a dinner party at his house, not at a bar, or some place that wouldn’t bring Glory to God, he had a celebration for what happened to Him, at his house. He was saved from his old life, now with his new life he wanted to share what Jesus did for him, and I’m sure he was hoping they would want to be a part of what Jesus was doing, and be apart of the family.

    I also love the part at the beginning of verse 13, Go and learn what this scripture means: I desire compassion for those in distress. Examples of distress are loss, loneliness, the death of a loved one. The loss of a job. A serious injury. Filing for divorce and/or separation, cause anguish to, cause suffering to, pain, upset, make miserable, grieve, sadden. trouble, worry, bother, anxiety in, perturb, disturb, disquiet, agitate, torment, torture, afflict, oppress the list goes on.

    When we get to to be apart of encouraging someone for Jesus, he feels blessed, loved, excited because were doing what we were called to do. Thank you, God, that you love us so much that you gave us Jesus to be the best example of what love looks like. Please help us to get better at following Jesus every new day that you give us. Love you so much, and thank you for whatever I get to be a part of.

    • Jason on July 8, 2021 at 11:11 am

      There is so much good commentary and encouragement here, Heidi. I appreciated how you finished with this thought after the reflection of Matthew and the list of things that both cause distress and that others do to us.

      When we get to be a part of encouraging someone for Jesus, he feels blessed, loved, excited because we’re doing what we were called to do.

      Biblical and relational encouragement is, unfortunately, lacking in our world but looking at the list of things we do and can potentially encounter in this life, we need the encouragement of Jesus and others more than ever.

      We need to be that for other people as well and throw encouragement parties where people feel loved, affirmed, and built up just as Matthew must have felt when Jesus picked him out and asked him to be his disciple. It can make all the difference in our and the lives of others.

  3. Heidi on July 3, 2021 at 8:33 am

    This is a awesome song that goes with this chapter enjoy!

    • Jason on July 8, 2021 at 10:32 am

      One of the great ones and it will never get old or irrelevant to the Christian experience and our declaration in our hearts and with our lives to follow Jesus. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Jeri Centers on July 3, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    I was drawn to Matthew 9 verses 37-38 and I wrote a small poem.

    I look at the fields, ripe and white as snow,
    From the seeds of faith, we planted long ago.

    So many hearts in season, with prayers, have grown.
    God has made ready.

    Time is like a wind, so quickly gone away.
    Too soon today’s tomorrow too soon a yesterday.

    Lord of the harvest, place your fire in me.
    The servant you need now, that servant I will be.

    What that means to me is that we need the eyes of God’s Spirit and His heart of compassion. We need to seek the Lord’s harvest and He will show us where to go. We will follow where God leads us.

    • Jason on July 8, 2021 at 10:43 am

      I love this week’s poem, Jeri. It is packed full of beautiful prose and spiritual truth. This line stood out to me this morning:

      Lord of the harvest, place your fire in me.
      The servant you need now, that servant I will be.

      May we all ask God to place the passion and fire and fill us with the Holy Spirit each and every day to do his work in the world and be the servants that He desires us to be. May we go where He leads us and not look back just as Matthew did.

  5. Alma on July 4, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    This week I got a song Matthew 9 verse 13 called “Shout to the Lord”:

    Let’s shout out, shout out let’s shout out to our Lord
    He has a heart of passion, full of grace, mercy, and love.

    Let’s follow our Lord, walking singing together
    Follow our Lord, walking singing together
    Standing upright with our Lord.

    His Love is so amazing
    He gives us grace, mercy, and joy.

    Let’s shout out, shout out let’s shout out to our Lord. Amen.

    God’s love is so amazing. He loves us even when we think we are not lovable. Let’s stand up and do God’s work and bring people together. May we always remember that God gives His mercy, grace, and loves to His children always.

    • Jason on July 8, 2021 at 10:53 am

      Your song is so encouraging this week, Alma as they always are. I came away from reading feeling and being affirmed in the grace, mercy, and love of God. These lines will become my anthem today:

      His Love is so amazing
      He gives us grace, mercy, and joy.

      Thank you for constantly calling our attention to and reminding us of the love God has for us and the fact that we are accepted by Him always.

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