Do you remember the story where Jesus fed the 5,000?
I know that I heard this story a hundred times in Sunday School growing up.
Here's the text:
13 Now when Jesus heard this,
he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But
when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
What Jesus did here is an incredible miracle! I mean, turning 5 loaves of bread into enough bread to feed over 5,000 people is amazing!
But, that's not what I want to focus on.
Jesus had had a long day. It seems that he was wanting some alone time. But, then lots of people followed him. When he saw them, it says that "he had compassion on them". Jesus had compassion for people. He had so much compassion for these people that he healed their sick and then he fed them!
Later on in Matthew 15:32-39, Jesus fed 4,000 people. This is how the story starts: "Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said,
“I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now
three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away
hungry, lest they faint on the way."
Jesus was a compassionate man. He really cared for people. He healed them and fed them. He took care of them. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is God. And God promises that he will take care of us. We are his children. What an incredible promise this is!
But, lets take this a step further. We are called to be like Jesus, walk like Jesus. If we really do this, then won't we also be compassionate people? Not just compassionate for the physically poor and diseased, but also for the spiritually poor and diseased.