Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
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Nor does Christ’s goodness rest here, but He manifests His care for them, opening the bowels of His mercy towards them; whence it follows, “And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion upon them.”.
This is an accusation against the rulers of the Jews, that being shepherds they appeared like wolves; not only not improving the multitude, but hindering their progress. For when the multitude marvelled and said, “It was never so seen in Israel,” these opposed themselves, saying, “He casteth out daemons by the prince of daemons.”.
He privately insinuates Himself to be the Lord; for it is He Himself who is Lord of the harvest. For if He sent the Apostles to reap what they had not sown, it is manifest that He sent them not to reap the things of others, but what He had sown by the Prophets. But since the twelve Apostles are the labourers, He said, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he would send labourers into his harvest;” and notwithstanding He added none to their number, but rather He multiplied those twelve many times, not by increasing their numbers, but by giving them more abundant grace.
He shows us that it is a great gift that one should have the power of rightly preaching, in that He tells them that they ought to pray for it. Also we are here reminded of the words of John concerning the threshing-floor, and the fan, the chaff, and the wheat.