exegesis with humility

posted on 2012-07-21

In Luke 10:2, Jesus says:

The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

I’ve heard this verse interpreted by churches as a call to evangelism. There’s a lot of lost souls to save, and they won’t get saved unless we go out and get them. But this assumes that I am a “workers” and need to go out to “harvest” the lost souls. I don’t like this interpretation because it lacks humility.

What this verse makes me think about is: “Am I really one of the workers, or am I just slacking off and pretending to work?” Jesus goes on to give very strict commands to his workers: “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals.” I like to think I’m trying to live up to this strict command of abandoning everything for Jesus, but it’s really hard to figure out what things I need to abandon to make this happen. What completely ordinary—even necessary—things like sandals am I not giving up?