Summary of passage: After healing the blind and mute, Jesus then continued his ministry, preaching the good news and healing people all through his travels. He had compassion on the throngs of people and realized he needed help so he told the disciples to pray for this.
Jesus gave his disciples the authority to drive out evil spirits and heal the sick. The 12 disciples are: Simon/Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James and Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot.
3a) Because they were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
b) Psalm 23:1-3: God provides all that we need. He restores us and guides us in righteousness.
Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24-25: God takes away our iniquity for Himself, forgiven our sins, and allowed us to live for righteousness with Him.
Jeremiah 50:6,17: Shepherds have led God’s people astray and Assyria and Babylon have devoured them. God will punish them for this and restore His people (read verses 18-20)
Ezekiel 34:5-16: The Lord will be the people’s shepherd, searching for them and looking after them, rescue them and gather them and bring them unto their own land. God will feed them and tend them, heal the injured, strengthen the weak, and bring back the lost. He will be just. God will punish the selfish shepherds who have disregarded His flock. They will be punished and held accountable for their actions.
John 10:11-15: Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. He knows his sheep and they know him. He brings other sheep that are not his to him as well. He lays down his life for the sake of his sheep.
c) Personal Question. My answer: This would be everyone who does not know and accept Jesus. It’s hard to say amongst acquaintances if this is the case but I do have family members that don’t know Jesus. I would say the best bet is to have compassion on everyone just like Jesus did. That way, you’ll never lose.
4a) “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” We are to pray for God to send out evangelists for Him.
b) “Authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness”
c) Personal Question. My answer: We are all given a purpose from God in life and I believe we follow Him when we act on this purpose. For me, I try to follow His call. I feel I have a lot of calls on my life at the moment so it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide which to focus on. So I pray a lot and listen and go with what I feel is Him and what is most important to Him.
Conclusions: Important follow up to why Jesus heals: not because he has to prove anything but because he feels our needs and desires and heals for our sake, not his. Most of us are not gifted to heal others physically but we can show compassion to all and pray for healing, for God to perform a miracle. For He hears.
End Notes: God as shepherd is a favorite image that spoke to an agricultural society such as God’s people in ancient times. We see this imagery from Jacob in Genesis 48:15 all the way to Revelation 7:17 and all in-between.
The religious leaders of that time were poor shepherds like Ezekiel described. They were selfish, only caring for themselves, neglecting the flock, especially those injured, diseased, sick, or lost. They plundered the people for their own gain and for that they will pay.
Jesus has come to set things right and be the caring shepherd the people desperately need.