Monday, March 13, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 41

                             Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 41: He Looks at Us and has Compassion

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 9: 35-38

The Workers Are Few

35 "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness." (Matthew 9:35) 
Jesus is amazing. Let me list the things that Jesus did in just the first sentence: 1. He 'went through all the towns and villages.' ALL the towns and villages. He didn't skip one. Every town and village was important because there were people in each one that were lost. 2. He taught in their synagogue. He took time to teach them the 'good news of the kingdom.' What were the people used to hearing? The law and how to obey it. But Jesus came in with a new message- good news. His teachings were filled with the Holy Spirit and fire. The people's hearts must have been stirred. Grace was among them. 3. 'He healed every disease and sickness.' EVERY. EVERY. The world cannot wrap their minds around that and I'm pretty sure there are Christians who have a hard time believing that Jesus did heal and still can heal every disease and sickness. Jesus CAN heal EVERY disease. He IS God. He CREATED us. Healing is part of who He is. 
36 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:36) 
I grew up in New York City. There were crowds everywhere. Traffic everywhere and it never seemed to let up. It didn't matter what time of day it was, there were people, crowds and traffic. I'm not sure that I ever looked at a New York crowd and had compassion on them. Most times they were walking fast, focused and determined to get where they had to go, regardless of your presence. I've been bumped, pushed, elbowed, and leered at- New York is a scene. But not to Jesus. No, He saw the crowd and was moved in compassion. I'm sure the crowd of His day was no different than the crowd of today and He had mercy on them. And why did He have compassion for them? Because, 'they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.' He could see the abuse that was over each one and how it made them helpless. He didn't look at the crowd and just see faces, He saw their hearts, their thoughts, and knew their lives. He knew their stories. He knew how many hairs that were on each head. To Jesus it wasn't a just a crowd, it was individual people that He created, with individual lives that had a story of sadness. He loved each person and had compassion on them. They were, 'like sheep without a shepherd,' lost, confused. But the good news is, The Shepherd had arrived on the scene. He was going to lead them and heal them. Victory for each life was on the way. 
37 "Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9: 37-38) It's like a movie. You see the main character look out over a crowd, and then the scene becomes blurry and you begin to see what the main character is seeing. The main character has a flash back. Everything seems to go in slow motion. Well, Jesus had a moment to look out over the crowd, to see into each person's life, and He is moved with compassion. When He comes back from His thoughts, He realizes that His disciples are with Him, but they are not seeing what He is seeing. He doesn't have the time to point out each person within the crowd and tell their story and have their hearts move with compassion, but He says, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." My understanding is this: there are crowds of people needing the Shepherd. Crowds of people who are lost and hurting, but not enough people who are willing to help them. Not enough people willing to tell them the good news. Not enough people who are filled with compassion for all of these hurting people. We are called to pray-'Ask the Lord.' Ask the Father to give us His compassion for the people and be willing to be sent out to bring the Good News. Ask Him that the blinders on your eyes to be removed so that you can see what He sees as He looks out onto a crowd. 
Pray with me:
Father, thank you for sending Jesus. Thank you for your compassion on me. Thank you for seeing my story and knowing my heart. Thank you that you know the number of hairs on my head. Thank you for your healing. Father, 'Lord of the harvest,' give me your compassion for the crowds, the lost, and move me to share the Good News and bring healing to them. Use me Father to glorify your name and to bring the lost in the Kingdom of Heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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