"Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:35-36
This past Saturday, I shared the above scripture with the men at the Boot Camp training. I posed the following question to the men:
Do you care for people the way God cares for us?
I’m going to be upfront right now and tell you that there are some people I just don’t get along with and it frustrates me; can anyone here relate? I wonder sometimes why I get so frustrated with people…has that ever happened to you? You may have passed up an opportunity to care for someone and you avoided it.
There are a number of reasons a person would not care for people the way God would do as to upbringing, life experience, etc. I thought I had pretty good reasons for not caring for people like God. One thing I told the men was that we need to see what God has to say about a subject in order to make a sound decision on what is right.
In Matthew 9:35, we see that Jesus not only taught throughout all the cities and villages, but He also healed all afflictions and diseases. Jesus didn’t just talk about gospel, but put action behind it by attending to the needs of the people. Verse 36 say that Jesus saw the crowds and, “He had compassion for them”.
The compassion in verse 36 is much deeper than what we are accustomed to. It’s the type of compassion that evokes a deep feeling, or what you would call a “gut feeling”, a feeling that shakes you to the core of your being.
To help the men understand what I meant I showed the men a picture taken by Kevin Carter in 1993; the photo won a Pulitzer Prize. At the time of the photo, Mr. Carter was not allowed to help the little girl and a couple of months later, took his own life. The picture depicted a little girl who had collapsed in the middle of a field while trying to make it to another refugee camp. In the background was a vulture waiting for her to die. The picture evokes the type of compassion Jesus has for people.
The reason I went to this extent was to explain what compassion was so that we would know how much God cares for us.
Now, all the reasons and excuses I gave for not caring for people means nothing when we see the type of compassion God has for people.
If we are representatives of Jesus, but don’t care for people, that doesn’t work. Caring allows you to lead people to Christ and without it you cannot be effective in the “Great Commission” that God has called us to.
How do we see God today? When people see you act and talk like Jesus they are afforded the opportunity to see God. This statement is not made from a pompous state of mind, but from one of obedience. If you are producing and becoming more and more like God and less like your former self…you will attract people to yourself. Caring for people is obviously important to God and it should be important to us.
Don’t be disobedient. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and start caring people. Apply Matthew 9:35-36 to all aspects of your life. When I think of caring for people, I can’t help but to think about Matthew 25:42-46.
"For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:42-46
Go care for people and you’ll be surprised at what God will do with your obedience.
Posted on Wed, April 4, 2012
by Scott Stevenson