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Dec 29 Devotion: Being Moved With Compassion


Mark 6:33-34 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

[34] And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

I was drawn here today to our text after reading a prayer request from a lady from one of our recent prison services. Her name is Sherri, and she has attended many of our services and has recently came forward to be saved and to give her life to Jesus Christ. I was completely broken when I read her request. She said she is fighting a heroin addiction, and that heroin has taken everything from her. She said, the only thing (materially) she has left in this world was her children, and a few pictures. She poured her heart out on our prayer sheet. The only thing I could think of was….how would Jesus see her condition? The truth is,this woman needs Jesus…she needs a Shepherd to help her and lead her.

Compassion was the defining mark of Jesus as HE ministered through villages and homes, upon the hillsides, from the shores of the sea, along the roadsides, and in places they would meet and Jesus would preach. Upon the pages of God’s Word, one of the things that always sticks out to me and is evident was the compassion Jesus had for others. This compassion recognized no social class or religious sect, it sought out one select group alone – those who had NO Shepherd. Here in (Mark 6), Jesus was seeking a secluded place for HE and HIS disciples to rest, only to come upon the shore to find a crowd waiting for HIM. Place yourself here in our text…where would you be? In (verse 33), The Word tells us THEY RAN to hear Jesus preach! Well Glory! I am having myself a time imagining this beautiful picture the Bible is painting for us. I can’t imagine myself being anywhere else, but running to Jesus to hear HIM speak and hanging on every Word that came out of the mouth of the Son of God! Hallelujah!

Jesus, no doubt, was tired, and needing to refuel spiritually and physically from preaching to so many, and was now met by the sea by no ordinary group of people. These were the sick and destitute, the lowly and needy. Jesus did not recognize HIS own needs but rather that of the people that were now before HIM. Compassion will cause us to lay aside OURSELVES, and our needs in order to minister to the needs of others before us and around us. Compassion is never self-seeking and will never turn others away. The secret of Jesus’ compassion is found in HIS ability to see beyond the outward appearance of the physical needs of others and see their spiritual need. Jesus saw that they were like sheep without a Shepherd. Compassion is when we SEE others through the eyes of Jesus as HE would see them…that is when we really SEE. Behind every physical and emotional need is the spiritual need for a Savior, or as Jesus put it, the need for a Shepherd. If the sheep have the Good Shepherd, then every other need they have will be met by HIM. Godly compassion is focused on the foundational need found within every soul, the need for Jesus. When this is our focus, racial, economic, social, religious and cultural boundaries are no longer an obstacle or hindrance for compassion sees through all of that and only sees the need for Jesus.

All of us have witnessed and saw someone walking down the road and they are carrying their life’s possessions in a bag or backpack. They are homeless, lonely, sick, maybe crippled, and through bad choices, sin or life’s trials they now have no joy. In their eyes is despair and what they need is a Shepherd, they need Jesus! They are shown little or no compassion by most.

In one of the books I have been reading D.L. Moody said this, “God has given me a lifeboat, and said…the Lord told him, Moody, save all you can.“ My Christian friend, Jesus is the lifeboat! God intends not only to extend compassion to us but for us to extend compassion to others. How many times have you or Irefused to show compassion because we did not look beyond the outward appearance? May we seek to have eyes and a heart of compassion in order to give Jesus to those that have no Shepherd.

Bro. Lawrence Longworth

Isaiah 61:1 “the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”


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