Moved with Compassion

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” [1] (Matthew 9: 35-38)

So far this week we have been looking at Matthew 28: 16-20. The rest of this week, we are looking at the two other exemplar texts in Matthew concerning the great commission. 

The first thing we notice from this text is Jesus’ compassion on those separated from God and his desire to rescue them.  We also observe a connection between Jesus proclaiming the gospel and healing every disease and sickness.  Notice please, Jesus’ compassion for the people comes as a result of his ministry among them of preaching, teaching and healing.  I find it interesting that through his ministry among the broken and hurting, Jesus sees the people as God sees them.

I’m concerned that many times in the modern church we have lost that sense of ministry among those who are disenfranchised, hurting and broken.  Instead of being among them, we have perhaps inadvertently isolated ourselves from them.  If we are not careful, we can easily retreat into what I like to call “holy huddles”.  We huddle up and get real excited in our worship services about executing the play, but never get out of the huddle to execute the play.

I submit to you today, that we indeed have the plan.  It’s the plan the master gave us; proclaim the Gospel among those who need it.  So as we are moved with compassion, lets move out of the excitement of the huddle and proclaim the gospel among the harassed and helpless.  Trust me, there are plenty of harassed, helpless and broken with whom we will come into contact in the next several days.  Also, if we aren’t moved with compassion, let’s spend some time with the Master today until we are conformed into his image.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mt 9:35–38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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