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When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

Sometimes we have to read between the lines when we read the Bible. Sometimes just looking at print doesn’t tell us the whole story. Sometimes, we need to remember that what we call stories in the Bible are much more than mere stories, they are life events. Disney, the Grimm Brothers, Pixar and others tell stories. The Bible talks about life events of people like you and I who are just trying to make the journey as painlessly as possible.

Forget for a moment that Jesus was son of God; that he was deity; that the creator was living among the created as one of them. He just received word that his cousin had been brutally murdered by a lust-filled king because of a stupid promise made during a drunken stupor. They were only a few months apart. They held the same passion for God, the same message for the people. Now John was gone.

Jesus got into a boat to get away from the crowds that were pressing against him. There motives were self-absorbed. They had sick and crippled children; they were the blind, the lame, and the demon-possessed. They had needs and saw Jesus as the fulfillment of those needs.

Jesus’ escape, so to speak was much-needed. Nothing like a boat ride on a quiet lake to give you time to think, time to remember, time to worship. Time alone with your God is never a bad thing, but especially when you are hurting.

His trip was short and when he arrived on the other side another crowd was waiting for him. If it were me, even though I love being with people I’m quite sure I’d look at the crowd on shore and drop anchor. Although he was man, he knew these people. He knew that some would not even say ‘thank you’. He knew that NONE of them were deserving. He knew that some of them were simply there to see a good ole’ fashioned healing service.

In the midst of his sorrow and grief, in spite of the things he knew about the crowd, Jesus had compassion. Read that again. He had compassion. It wasn’t compassion built on the status of the people; it was compassion because of the character of God.

Jesus hasn’t changed. Although he is in heaven at the right hand of his Father he still sees your need. He doesn’t look at whether you deserve healing. He isn’t concerned about how you got to where you are on the journey. He isn’t expecting any payment in return. He may not choose to heal you physically, but his touch can give you the strength to endure. He’s not interested in your ‘get me out of this one and I’ll …” promises. He only wants to make you whole.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. When I read this story I am once again reminded of your great love. What a wonderful Savior who reaches out to us in your own sorrow to lift us from despair. Thank you for loving me. Touch me with your hand of grace and mercy. Empower me to live free of the inner pain I’m in. In your name I pray, Amen.

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