Many are asking for prayer for Texas as this big storm hits. Those people definitely need our prayers, compassion and help right now. It is easy to feel for these people. In the past few years, we have seen much violence, ugliness and division in our country. Has our initial response for the people in the riots in Charlottesville and other places also been prayer, compassion and help? I know mine has not. I have had opinions on who I think is right or wrong and I have strongly disagreed with much of what I have heard. But I can’t say I have felt or acted with “compassion”.
When Jesus was walking on earth amongst people, as we see in the verse above, he saw the same things we see-but his response was different. He saw people (religious leaders) mistreating others, social injustice (money changers in the temple ripping people off)and sickness. He saw people with political and social views that were counter to the gospel. His response though was a sadness for how lost they were. He saw sheep with no shepherd.
After Jesus felt that compassion, his action was to train and send others to help them. Have you ever considered we are those “others”? Aren’t we being trained in church, by messages, by our parents, by books and the Word of God so that we can go out to the lost sheep? We all know the good news of the gospel that will save people.
Today’s Scripture was a good reminder to me that the problems I see as I am “walking” in our world are not really problems of racism, bullying, violence, gender, abuse or more. The root is sin and the need of a Savior and Lord. They are problems of blindness to truth and lost souls. I need the eyes of Jesus to see the true problem and then the heart of Jesus to go out and share the good news of salvation. The bullying you may see in the halls of school today will only be resolved one by one as you and I with Christ living through us choose to love the person next to their locker instead of teasing them. The gossip I will be tempted to spread is coming from a sinful heart that needs the reminder of the Holy Spirit to only say things that build one another up and to stop tearing others down. The wayward friend who is currently walking with the world has lost sight of sin and is blindly stumbling as we can see into further paths of destruction in their own life. Only Jesus can open their eyes to what they are truly doing to themselves. We are the ones Jesus wants to show his compassion through today. Let’s open our eyes and pray we feel the nudge by the Spirit to do our part. As his body walking through our “towns and villages”, may we experience and show the same compassion that Christ had, on those who are lost around us. Pray for opportunity and the words when that opportunity comes.