Compassion for the Crowd

“Jesus called to His disciples and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have had nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry’” (Matthew 15:32)

The key focus in this passage, as well as Jesus feeding 4,000 people, is His compassion.

He had been teaching, preaching, and healing the sick for three straight days. And it seems that His audience was so captivated that they skipped meals and neglected to eat so that they wouldn’t miss a moment of His presence. They were so completely invested in Jesus and the spiritual realm that they forgot about their physical needs.

The crowd became hungry, and Jesus had compassion for them.

If there is one thing we cannot understand, it is how God can forgive us after all of the evil we have committed. In this fallen world, we have become desensitized to sin, rattling off curses, lies, and insults without even thinking; lusting after sensual pleasures at earlier and earlier ages; and treating sin as if it were “no big deal.”

But it is a big deal, because God hates sin – all sin – and “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23)

There is no such thing as a “big sin” or a “small sin.”

Sin is sin.

We try to justify it so that we don’t feel guilty, and we often don’t even understand why we sin.

Here’s why: It’s in our nature.

This is the human condition. This is our sickness. And this is why God has compassion for us.

He knows that we are slaves to our own devices, and that we literally cannot help ourselves. So He has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

“What will it take,” Jesus asked the Father, “to save them from themselves?”

With a tear in His eye, the Father replied, “Your life.”

Jesus had compassion.

“Consider it done.” He said, “I will do what I must.”

In this account, Jesus had compassion on 4,000 people and provided them food. The bigger picture, is that Jesus had compassion for all of humanity, and in laying down His life, provided salvation.

Without the grace of God, we would be stuck in an eternal loop of gloom, doom, and failure, without any rhyme or reason as to why.

But because of the grace of God, we can experience His ultimate compassion and begin to break free of our own oppressive habits.


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