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Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38 NIV
I love the scenes in the Bible of Jesus among the crowds. People following him from place to place.
People captivated by what he’s saying. People amazed by what he’s doing.
But why? What was he saying? What was he doing?
Jesus was proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom and demonstrating the restoring life his rule of justice brings.
Today, Jesus still draws a crowd. A crowd of people who are as captivated by the good news as when they first heard it and are as amazed by the restoring life of God’s kingdom as when they first encountered it. This is his Church, a gathered people with Christ in their midst.
On 20 January, crowds will be gathering for All We Can’s Conference, 2018. A day where we will yet again be captivated by the good news of Jesus and celebrate his just rule at work on the earth, which together we are joining in with. All We Can, as a movement of passionate people, is helping those in some of the world’s poorest communities to find solutions to the injustice they experience and the poverty that blights their lives.
In Matthew 9, Jesus reminds his disciples that the “harvest is plentiful”. There are people extending across the whole earth yet to hear and experience the good news of God’s just kingdom, which brings healing, release and fullness of life.
There are many people in some of the world’s poorest communities who are “harassed and helpless”. In compassion we can reach out our hand of friendship, and join together in solidarity, love and support with our global neighbours, helping us all to fulfil our God-given potential. Jesus didn’t just see a crowd, he identified individuals and ministered to them, connecting those who responded to him through his bond of love.
I invite you to join the crowds at All We Can’s Conference 2018, as people connected by Jesus’ love, to explore how change can happen when we all work together for God’s kingdom.
Claire Welch is Churches and Volunteers Manager for All We Can. She is responsible for producing materials, including Bible studies and services, and provides support to our volunteer coordinators and speakers.