Matthew 9:38

Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Cons. Evan. ii, 29: This account of the two blind men and the dumb daemon isread in Matthew only. The two blind men of whom the others speak are not the same as these, though something similar was done with them. So that even if Matthew had not also recorded their cure, we might have seen that this present narrative was of a different transaction. And this we ought diligently to remember, that many actions of our Lord are very much like one another, but areproved not to be the same action, by being both related at different times bythe same Evangelist. So that when we find cases in which one is recorded by one Evangelist, and another by another, and some difference which we cannot reconcile between their accounts, we should suppose that they are like, but not the same, events. Herein He teaches us not to return accusations to them that accuse us, but kindness. For he that ceases to do good because of accusation, shows that his good has been done because of men. But if for God’s sake...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Non occ.: He taught in their synagogues the Gospel of the Kingdom, as it follows, “Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom.”. ap. Anselm: By “disease” we may understand complaints of long standing, by "sickness” any lesser infirmity. ap. Anselm: Or, “troubled,” by daemons, and “sick,” that is, benumbed and unable to rise; as though they had shepherds, yet they were as though they had them not. ap. Anselm: The harvest are those men who can be reaped by the preachers, and separated from the number of the damned, as grain is beaten out from the chaff that it may be laid up in granaries.


AD 420
Observe how equally in villages, cities, and towns, that is to great as well as small, He preaches the Gospel, not respecting the might of the noble, but the salvation of those that believe. It follows, “Teaching in their synagogues; "this was His meat, going about to do the will of His Father, and saving by His teaching such as yet believed not. He first preached and taught, and then proceeded to heal sicknesses, that the works might convince those who would not believe the words. Hence it follows, "Healing every sickness and every disease,” for to Him alone nothing is impossible. The great harvest denotes the multitude of the people; the few labourers, the want of instructors.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
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 mu...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He shows how great the gift is when he says, “Ask from the Lord of the harvest.” And in an inconspicuous manner Jesus indicates that he himself is the one who holds this authority. Then to signify how promising is the harvest, Jesus calls them to “pray therefore the Lord of the harvest.” In doing so he indirectly declares this lordship to be his own prerogative. For after having said, “pray therefore the Lord of the harvest” when they had not made any request or prayer, he himself at once appoints them, reminding them also of the sayings of John, about the threshing floor, the separation of the husks from the kernels of grain, the husks that are left over, and of the One who is winnowing. From this it is clear that he himself is the farmer, he himself is the Lord of the harvest, he himself is the master of the prophets. For if he sent them to gather the harvest, it is clear that they do not harvest what belongs to someone else. Instead, they harvest the things that he sowed through the...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then to signify how great the gift is, He says, Pray ye the Lord of the harvest; and indirectly declares it to be His own prerogative. For after having said, Pray ye the Lord of the harvest; when they had not made any entreaty nor prayer, He Himself at once ordains them, reminding them also of the sayings of John, Matthew 3:12 of the threshing floor, and of the Person winnowing, and of the chaff, and of the wheat. Whence it is evident that Himself is the husbandman, Himself the Lord of the harvest, Himself the master and owner of the prophets. For if He sent them to reap, clearly it was not to reap what belongs to another, but what Himself had sown by the prophets. But not in this way only was He indirectly encouraging them, in calling their ministry a harvest; but also by making them able for the ministry.

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Understand, ‘of God;’ for though temporal blessings are also proclaimed, yet they are not called The Gospel. Hence the Law was not called a Gospel, because to such as kept it, it held out not heavenly, but earthly, goods. It should be known that those whom He healed outwardly in their bodies, He also healed inwardly in their souls. Others cannot do this of their own power, but can by God’s grace. But when the Son of God looked down from heaven upon the earth, to hear the groans of the captives , straight a great harvest began to ripen; for the multitude of the human race would never have come near to the faith, had not the Author of human salvation looked down from heaven. And it follows, “Then said he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.”. For the number of the Apostles was small in comparison of so great crops to bereaped. The Lord exhorts His preachers, that is, the Apostles and their followers, that they should daily desire an increase of their...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
The multitude in need of healing He calls the "harvest," and those who ought to teach them, "labourers." The "Lord of the harvest" is Christ Himself Who is Lord of prophets and apostles. This is made clear when He ordains the twelve without petitioning God. Listen, then:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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