Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Heart of Compassion

I've been thinking about compassion today...or more accurately, my lack of compassion.

This morning, in Bible Study, we read about Jesus feeding 4,000 people in Mark 8. The way the story goes, Jesus and his disciples had been with these people for three days in some unspecified, rural location -- and now, they're hungry. And there's no McDonald's Big Macs to run and grab, no freaky-fast Jimmy John's delivery service, or grocery store to get bread and peanut butter for sandwiches. They're stuck and starving.

Then, as Mark tells the story, Jesus had compassion on them. He felt sorry for them. He was with them in their suffering. He cared.

And I'm quite convinced that Jesus cared about EACH and EVERY one of those 4,000. In Mark's telling of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (a few chapters earlier in the gospel), after feeding the masses, Jesus sent his disciples away in a boat while he dismissed the crowd. He cared about EVERY person in that massive group, and he continues the same spirit of compassion in Mark 8.

Which is just incredible! I don't think I would have felt the same. 

The scene would have been loud and chaotic, and you couldn't blame him had he quickly slipped away without feeding his followers. But Jesus, like always, chooses to be present in people's lives and care for their needs with a spirit of compassion. I'm sure he was exhausted after three days of ministry. I'm sure this massive meal was an administrative nightmare. But, regardless, Jesus shows up in people's lives in a substantial way. 

May we be challenged and encouraged by the compassion of Jesus, may his compassionate heart beat strongly within us, and may we be people who daily display the love, care, and compassion of Jesus to all in our path.

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