Matthew 9:35-38 Shepherds Needed.
Jesus went about teaching, preaching, and healing among the people (v. 35). “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (v. 36). Jesus is the Great Shepherd, but in his earthly incarnate ministry he could only be in one place at one time. It is important to notice that there were three key things that were involved in shepherding the flock – teaching, preaching, and healing. Although ministers today do not perform works of direct physical healing, they are engaged in spiritual healing, or should be. In many ways this kind of healing is much more challenging to see positive results. If one is healed instantly of a physical ailment, then the outcome is obvious, but with spiritual healing it takes time to see change happening for the individual and community.
There is another important point to glean from this passage, and that is the reality that it takes a shepherd to lead and guide a flock. There were multitudes of people that were gathered around Jesus so that it was impossible for him to personally attend to each individual. Today one might conceive of one man preaching to huge crowds, and perhaps even teaching, but it would not have the same impact of a more intimate connection, such as is also necessary for healing. For this reason Jesus empowered the apostles to go out and perform the same works as he was doing, only they would do so in his name, not their own. The harvest is still plentiful, and the labourers are still few (v. 37). This must still be a matter of prayer, that the Lord would continue to raise up shepherds to teach, preach, and heal in his name to the whole world.