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Jesus and Compassion

In the gospels, we read of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with a simple meal of bread and fish. So often, I have looked at this as simply one of His great miracles. It certainly is that. However, I’d like to look at the “why” behind the miracle.

Those who teach leadership skills today may love this story and could use it as an example of how to draw a following. But┬áJesus wasn’t into the “how to win friends and influence people” movement. He lived and moved and breathed out of a holy motivation. Yes, His desire was to bring glory to the Father, BUT He did so by revealing who the Father is which is love and mercy and grace, and yes, justice and righteousness (all of those meet together and are held in perfect balance by the Father).

In this passage, we see that Jesus was moved with compassion when He looked on the crowds of hungry people. We see this motivation time and again in the gospels, and in fact, throughout Scriptures. Our God is moved with compassion as He sees the brokenness of man, the absence of shalom or wholeness. It is His heart.

So, I pray: Lord, what motivates me? Am I filled with compassion when I see injustice? Do I understand Your heart for the hurting, and am I willing to enter into the pain, whatever it may be, of my neighbor, whomever he may be, in order that You might use me as a vessel of mercy? Transform me, Father, that I might reflect Your heart of compassion.

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"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in." -Isaiah 58:6-12