A few weeks ago the children’s directors at my church were preparing for the Easter service by recruiting extra childcare workers. We normally have two services but for Easter, we planned to have one large service. We were expecting 600 people, so we knew we needed extra hands to care for all the children.
I began to pray about our need for workers. One morning as I prayed, a scripture came to mind and I boldly asked the Lord to “send workers to the harvest”. As soon as that prayer left my mouth, I knew (in my spirit) I was praying for much more than caretakers. I was asking for angels to be dispatched along with the workers to the harvest. The “knowing” was deep and profound even though I didn’t have full revelation.
Every time I had ever read this scripture in the past, I thought it meant “to send” disciples to share the gospel. However, now I believe it means send disciples in AUTHORITY, along with angels!
As I read the verses thoroughly, the phrase “send out” in verse 38 stood out to me. The Greek word is ekballo. According to Brian Simmons, this word is used many times in the Gospels for driving out or casting out demons. The Lord of the harvest must CAST the laborers out into the harvest fields:
“Jesus uses the word “ekballo” in Matthew 9:38, where he begs his disciples to “pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send forth (Gr. ekballo) laborers into the harvest field. Ekballo is not the normal term used for “send,” as most of our translations have it. It is a spiritually violent word filled with passion and force. It is the same word that Jesus uses when he says, “If I cast out (Gr. ekballo) demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20, NASB)
The authority and the force of Jesus casting out demons is the same spiritual force and authority by which he thrust forth laborers. It is the word used when Jesus goes to confront Satan in the wilderness. The Gospel of Mark says, “And the spirit drove (Gr. ekballo) him into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” It seems as if the power and the resistance of Satan and his evil spirits must be confronted by a greater forcefulness and empowerment. When Jesus ekballos demons, demons must leave”.
As you contemplate the verses for this week, ask the Holy Spirit to enlightened your understanding around Christ’s authority in us and the role of angels.
The Holy Spirit comes forth with such a force in us that the demons must leave and the angels are sent by God to serve those who are going to be saved (Hebrews 1:14)!
Wow, how does all this connect?
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 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 laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.””
Matthew 9:35-38 ESV