“And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36 (NASB)
Given the present-day attitude of Secularland’s existence, this statement couldn’t be truer: “We are all like sheep gone astray.” I can’t help to think that even we Christians are caught up in this statement as well simply because, though we’re not of it, we’re in it and have to navigate through Secularland daily. And things are pretty cut throat as well. I mean, just listen to how the news is getting presented these days. It is no longer factual as it once was when Walter Cronkite graced us with his presence and stood on this, “In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” OH-NO! That idea has now left the building for what we used to do in South Philly, and that is the one who YELLS THE LOUDEST WINS THE ARGUMENT!!! C’est La Vie….
If we take a look at Numbers 27:16-17 we see that Moses, who knows his time among the children of YHVH is coming to an end, makes this request, “O LORD, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the LORD will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” YHVH doesn’t waste any time (like He ever does) and He, hearing the compassion in Moses’ plea, gives him this reply, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him.” Joshua will go on to take YHVH’s people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. Fast forward into the infancy of Anno Domini…(you may wanna Google that)
You would’ve thought that the Pharisees would have understood their role in the everyday lives of YHVH’s people, but we know they didn’t and it certainly appears that the vast amount of them didn’t care to either. And for all the reading done out loud in Synagogue, they may have run across this: “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind” (Zech 11:17). Well, they probably did but it didn’t seep into their minds, and when Jesus starts to go out into the pastures that they were given charge of, all Jesus heard was Pharisaical resistance and accusations of being a man who cast out demons by the ruler of demons. I don’t even think those wacky Pharisees could spell compassion, let alone feel any at all. However…
It is a reassuring thing to me that when Jesus Christ came onto the creation, He began to see just what the heart of man was really up to. Outside of the fact that we totally lost a real sense of worship to THE Triune God, man had lost any sense of compassion for each other. Caesar certainly brought no real compassion to the occupied lands and the Pharisees were too busy saving themselves to rightly divide a loaf of bread, BUT Jesus looked out at the multitudes and felt a compassion that lead Him to say to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” I also suspect that this was in His mind as He looked upon Jerusalem and He wept.
It is no different today. Oh, you can sit there and say those were ancient times and that thinking can’t be brought into our modern mindset, but you would be very wrong. All that has changed is we have smartphones that prove how dumb we’ve become. So as we see Resurrection Sunday coming up, let us be reminded of the compassion that Jesus Christ had for all of us, sheep and shepherd alike. Even from The Cross, His compassion knew no bounds as He uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a).
And before you and yours sit down to cut up the holiday ham, ask to pass the scallop potatoes, try to avoid the green beans, and sneak into the candy basket, take a moment to “pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields” (Matthew 9:38). Know the compassion of Jesus needs to be spread “throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” your work place, the White House, The Kremlin, Syria, and Jerusalem. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “Remember that even Jesus’ most scathing denunciation – a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem Matthew 23 – ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did.” — John MacArthur
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10