But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Everywhere Jesus went during His earthly ministry, He was mobbed by people who were pushing and pulling, always wanting something from Him. They wanted healings, like the woman who had spent all her money on doctors and still was sick, or Jairus, who came to the Lord because his daughter had died, and he wanted Jesus to raise her from the dead. So many wanted a touch from the Savior.
Jesus saw their deepest need. He saw where they were hurting the most. He saw behind the façade, behind the defense mechanisms people put up. He saw the real cry of their hearts. He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, as people who were going astray, everyone turning to their own way. And He had compassion on them.
If you want to be used by God in any capacity, then you have to develop something called compassion. We see a pattern of compassion throughout the ministry of Jesus. We see it when He talked with the woman at the well in Samaria. The Bible says that He “needed to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). Normally Jews did not go to Samaria because there was a deep racial prejudice between Samaritans and Jews that was passed from generation to generation. But in spite of His busy schedule and all He had to do, Jesus knew there was a lonely, burned-out, hurting woman who would be waiting at the well.
Sometimes we see nonbelievers as the enemy: “Look at those sinners. Look at what they’re doing.” But let’s remember something: Behind that sin there is an empty, searching, lost person that God loves.
We are called to appeal to these people with the message of the gospel, but we need compassion. Jesus had it overflowing from His life. Do we?
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