Compassion for the lost.

In our love for the lost people of this world we need to see as Jesus saw and feel as Jesus felt so that we will do as Jesus did.

Matthew 9:35-38

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. 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.”

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Did you notice in this passage how non-discriminatory Jesus is? ‘Jesus went through all the towns’ (vs35). He cared for all the people. He cared for the Jews, the Gentiles, the people who loved him and for those who did not want to have anything to do with him. In my evangelism efforts, so often I decide, or assume, those who may want to know about Jesus and who will reject him. Based off the judgements I make of other people,  I adjust my conversation accordingly. When I was younger and newer to my faith, I was less selective. Recently, I met up with a girl I went to school with who I had not seen for over 20 years. She is exactly the type of person that I would not ‘push’ my faith on, as she is a highly successful journalist; in other words, the type I would assume would not be interested in Christianity. BUT in the midst of our conversation, I spoke openly and in depth of my faith to her. I knew I could speak openly with her because, when we were young, I would speak of it regularly and I would often mention it in speeches at school.  I was respected for the faith I spoke out for. So with her, it flowed freely, and she knew me to be genuine. I encourage you not to dull the desire you first had when you first loved Christ and wanted to tell everyone the good news. Do not assume that some people don’t want to know about God, after all, it is God’s work and not our own.

How did Jesus teach and preach the good news? He did it with compassion. Compassion happens when we show a response to other people’s suffering and are motivated by a desire to help them. Do you see others that you meet, or pass by, as ‘suffering’ as ‘harassed and helpless’ (vs 36) without Christ? Does this motivate you to try to respond and help them toward Christ who is the good shepherd? This passage encourages us to think this way. Having compassion may hurt. It might not be easy to hurt for others and their lost state; however,  if we have compassion, we are following in Christ’s footsteps. He does not leave us without a helper.

If we pray to the Lord of the Harvest, (vs 38) He will equip us and send us out to help. He will give us every resource we need. He is faithful. 

Head: Read John 17 vs 20 -26. We read in these verses that Jesus prayed for us, His future believers, and he prayed that we would be in unity with him and Father God. He prayed for our best equipping in the unity of the Spirit. If there are people who you know who want to know more about faith,  invite them to church, or ask if they may be interested in doing a course like Christianity Explored.

Heart: The desire to tell others about the good news needs to be on each of our hearts. We need to see as Jesus saw and feel as Jesus felt so that we will do as Jesus did.

Hands: As you go out to your day, remember you are His hands and feet in this broken and hurting world. But do not fear, you do not go out alone when you ask God to lead you; then, you can say as Paul does: ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength’. (Philippians 4 v 13)

Prayer: LORD you gave a command to your disciples to ask you to send out workers into your harvest field. The world I live in still appears to be like a world where people – my colleagues, my family, my friends and neighbours—have lost their way. People are like sheep who have gone astray. May you send workers out into this world to draw others to you, please send workers to speak your truths into this broken world and if you so choose Lord, please send me. AMEN

A song to listen to: With a Prayer (Love Incarnate)

Emma-Jane McNicol