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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.


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

The English definition of compassion is a ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.’ While that is a noble gesture, the English word for compassion doesn’t come close to giving us the picture God intends for us to have of compassion ‘God’s way’.

The Greek word for compassion in Matthew 14 is the word splanchnizomai. Okay, it doesn’t really matter how it’s pronounced. What’s more important is what it means to you and me. The word translated in English means ‘from the gut’. It gives the idea that Jesus didn’t just have a ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress.

When Jesus saw the leper he actually FELT his loneliness right down to his shoe laces…okay, sandal straps. Even so, it wasn’t just a kind gesture. He actually felt the despair of the young mom whose daughter was lying dead in the upper room. His eyes teared up as he climbed the stairs while mourners wailed in the background. He felt the fear that gripped the father as he watched his son go into yet another demon-powered seizure. He felt the darkness and confusion of the blind man who had never seen the faces of his mother or father or any of the other family members that cared for him on a daily basis.

One of the most meaningless statements a person can make to someone is, “I know exactly how you feel.” Have you ever had someone say that to you? Come on now, be honest. Just between you and me, didn’t you want to deck them? Didn’t every nerve in your body want to scream “NO YOU DON’T! HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY KNOW HOW I FEEL?” Maybe you’ve even decked a few people physically or emotionally. The words flew out before you could be ‘socially appropriate’.

Fact of the matter is. You were right. No one can climb inside your heart and feel what you are feeling. No one that is except Jesus. You may not always feel his presence, but he’s aware of every one of your thoughts, emotions and pain. His gut hurts when he feels the pain you are in. That’s compassion. That’s Jesus.

He doesn’t only feel your pain every bit as much as you do. He wants to heal you. He wants to build a relationship with you that enables you to sleep through the storms, to endure the trials and overcome the enemy. He’s never too tired. Never to angry with you. Never far away.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for the fact that you not only understand my pain, you feel it from the bottom of your gut. No one understands my pain. No one sees how much I’m hurting inside like you do. Help me to feel your presence in my life in a way I’ve never felt before. Forgive me for my part in the bad choices I’ve made. Empower me with your Spirit to grow in relationship with you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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