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37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”


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37. The harvest is indeed abundant By this metaphor he intimates, that many of the people are ripe for receiving the gospel. Though the greater number afterwards rejected basely and with vile ingratitude the salvation offered to them, yet the limited number of the elect, who were mixed with unbelievers, is compared to an abundant harvest, because God values a small band of his own people more highly than the rest of the world. Though there were at that time many who assumed this character, yet as few of them discharged it faithfully, he does not rank them among laborers: for he employs the word laborers in a good sense. When Paul complains (2 Corinthians 2:13) of bad laborers, he refers to their boasting: for he would not have bestowed the designation of laborers534534     ἐργάται δόλιοι, deceitful workmen. on those who devoted all their exertions to ruin and waste the flock, had it not been that they gloried in the false pretense.

38. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest As no man will of himself become a sincere and faithful minister of the gospel, and as none discharge in a proper manner the office of teacher but those whom the Lord raises up and endows with the gifts of his Spirit, whenever we observe a scarcity of pastors, we must raise our eyes to him to afford the remedy. There never was greater necessity for offering this prayer than during the fearful desolation of the church which we now see every where around us.




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