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"Would you like to help, but...?"

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you want to help, but something holds you back? In this blog, we will explore a passage from the book of Matthew that sheds light on this issue and challenges us to take action.

If we take a moment to read chapter 9 of the book of Matthew, we will see Jesus reaching out to help people in various ways: healing a paralyzed man (verses 6-7), sharing a meal with a tax collector and healing his rejection (verse 12), curing a woman with a chronic illness (verse 22), raising a girl from the dead (verse 25), restoring sight to the blind (verse 30), and freeing a man possessed by demons (verse 33). Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of the region, teaching in synagogues and proclaiming the Good News about the kingdom of God, healing all kinds of diseases and ailments.

Can you imagine how exhausted He must have been by the end of the day? Despite His fatigue, there was still a crowd seeking His help, the help that only Jesus could provide at that moment. It was then that Jesus, as described in verse 36, looked at the crowds and felt compassion for them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask Him to send out more workers into His field" (Matthew 9:36-38, NTV).

It wasn't until after this episode that Jesus gathered His twelve disciples and gave them the authority to cast out evil spirits and heal all kinds of diseases and ailments (Matthew 10:1). Up until that point, the disciples were willing and available, but they lacked the authority to perform the tasks Jesus did. However, after receiving this authority, they became essential workers in the field of helping people. Later, in the book of Acts, we see them literally giving their lives in the fulfillment of this task.

In organizations driven by volunteer work, such as churches, it is often challenging to find help for various projects. Many hands are needed for everything: entering data into a database, serving water, cleaning, providing companionship, praying, and much more. You may have heard or even said the phrase, "I'm sorry, I would help, but..."

Some people are willing to help wholeheartedly but simply don't have the time, meaning they are not available. Others have the time and resources available but are not willing to contribute them to the project. And then there are those who have the time and willingness, but perhaps they are not the most suitable for the task at hand.

Jesus's call for more workers is still relevant today. Congregations all over the world are looking for willing and available individuals to help those in need in various ways.

We need workers who are willing to overcome the fear of sharing their faith in God, ready to sacrifice their comfort to help others move, willing to have faith and pray for the sick, ready to set aside their pride and treat others with love, and available to pick up the phone and encourage those they haven't seen in a long time.

Let's not wait any longer; Jesus has already given us the authority and the mandate to do so (Matthew 28:18-20).

This blog was written by Celia Guevara de Preza, based on the sermon of September 16, 2023.

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