Bible Study: Matthew 9
Bible Study: Matthew 9

To watch a talk on this topic head to the bottom of this study.


Tell a story of a problem you faced in sport and how you overcame it.

To make disciples of the vast world of sport is a huge challenge that can feel daunting and overwhelming. What’s our motivation for such a task? What is the need and what is the solution for making disciples in the world of sport for Christ? It is critical for us to understand how Jesus’ motivation and His message give us the framework for approaching the Lord of the Harvest for His harvest field in the world of sport.

Read Matthew 9:35-36

35 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. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

What you need to know

Jesus has arrived as God’s long-awaited appointed king with all the authority of God (healing every disease and illness, raising dead people to life and casting out demons – Matthew 9:18-34) and to proclaim the Good News of spiritual rescue and forgiveness.

  • How does Jesus view the crowds who are following Him?
  • Why do you think Jesus uses the metaphor of ‘sheep without a shepherd’?
  • How does Ezekiel 34:5-6 help us understand why Jesus uses this metaphor and what it means?
  • In v.36 what is Jesus’ reaction to the crowds?

Sum up

Jesus views the following crowd like sheep who are lost, walking around without hope or purpose, and He has compassion on them. How does this relate to the world of sport that you live in?

Read Matthew 9:37-38

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

What you need to know

Sometimes we don’t recognise that the people around us are like harassed and helpless sheep; so, they miss out on our compassion and our sharing of the Good News of Christ. Jesus beckons us to ask the Lord of the Harvest for what we lack: compassion and authority (10v1) to proclaim the kingdom of God.

  • Brainstorm the word ‘harvest’ - when you hear this word what do we think about?
  • When you think about your world of sport (club/team), what stops you from viewing it as a plentiful harvest field?
  • What does Jesus have to say about this harvest in v.37-38?
  • What does that look like in your club/team?

Sum up

Jesus says the harvest is plentiful (even if we think it isn’t in our particular club/ team). Jesus says that God is the Lord of the harvest field -it’s not ours, so we are not to get hung up on results or a perceived lack of them. Jesus urges us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field. List how many clubs and teams you have in your University that don’t have a Christian in today.

What does this mean for us?

Ask individuals to make a spectrum line on how confident they feel to be a ‘worker’ in His harvest field of sport. (0 is not confident at all; 10 is fully confident)


  • that the Lord would send workers into His harvest field
  • that He would start by sending us
  • that He would equip us with all we need
  • that He would reap a great harvest

Go Deeper

All Bible quotations are taken with permission from the NIV:
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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