Daily Scripture Series – July 23rd

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Compassion fatigue can be one of the results of living in a badly broken world, much like the one we live in today. The sheer volume of human suffering can numb even the best intentioned among us. Compassion fatigue, however, was not in Jesus’s makeup. Matthew 9:35-36 says, “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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Our world suffers not only from physical needs but also from great spiritual brokenness. Jesus came to meet that need and challenged His followers, and still does, to join Him in this work, because there is so much work to be done. He prayed that the Father would raise up workers to respond to the needs all around us-people who struggle with loneliness, sin, and illness.

Daily Questions

  1. Think about how you may have failed to follow Him in spreading His work.
  2. How can you improve upon your lack of willingness to reach out to the lonely, the ill, the weak in Spirit?

Daily Thoughts

In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus and may the Father give us hearts for others that mirrors His heart. In the strength of His Spirit, we can express His compassionate concern to those who are suffering.

Matthew 9:35-38

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.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Bonus Information

While contemplating the crowd in Matthew 9, Jesus did three specific things. First, He “saw” the crowds and recognized they were “harassed and helpless”. Second, He felt compassion toward them. Finally, our Lord acted by challenging His disciples to pray that the Father would raise up workers to serve in the harvest.

We find the same pattern in Acts 17 when Paul entered the city of Athens. He saw that the city was filled with idols, which stirred strong feelings within him (“he was greatly distressed”)-perhaps because of the self-destructive nature of idol worship. Then Paul acted by engaging people with the message of Jesus and His resurrection.

This pattern practiced by both Jesus and Paul established a model we can embrace today.

 

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