Today I journaled Matthew 9:36. “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” (NASB) I began reading at verse 18. My Bible started that section with a heading of Miracles of Healing, and from that point to the end of the chapter Matthew chronicled all the healing miracles Jesus did on His way to heal the synagogue official’s daughter. Verse 36 points out that Jesus had compassion on those he encountered.
As I did my Bible Journaling, I began to think of the fact that Jesus’ heart was so full of compassion for them because they were in distress. His heart broke for the situations in which they found themselves. We are to have that same compassion for those who come across our paths. Sometimes we see people who are in dire straits, and we think, “There isn’t anything I can do, I’m only one person.” But sometimes we don’t always have to DO something, just being available in their time of need is all they really need. Knowing that if they need a shoulder to cry on and we are there for them, is sometimes all that is needed. It can give them strength to persevere through the struggles and trials they face.
Compassion is not just that I feel bad that you are going through a struggle, it is a heart-wrenching feeling of love toward them that you want to reach out and touch them where they are, to bring even a little relief. Compassion is an overwhelming love for them, and your desire to help them in any way that you can.
Jesus had that kind of compassion. Many times, His heart broke at the sight of people being in despair, in need of everything from healing and spiritual freedom to salvation and forgiveness. He had the ability to help them right at the core of where they were. Their greatest need was the need of repentance and forgiveness. That was His primary reason for everything He did, because He loved them so much.
Jesus is our example, and we are to try, to the best of our ability, to model His example. We may not have the capability to help someone financially, but we can pray for them, or offer help in some other way. We may not believe that we have the power to heal, but God does, and if we allow Him to use us, healings can come. There are many scenarios that we could name where we do not have the power or strength to accomplish what is needed, but God has that power and strength. Leaning on Him and relying on His strength can help us to be His instrument in bringing relief from despair, sickness, poverty, and spiritual bondage. We must be available to become His vessel, filled with compassion for those going through hard times.