Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 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.”
Jesus’ life work was to go around and preach the gospel to the people of the Israel and surrounding areas, and then to the rest of the world beginning with His Apostles and then right up to today with us! He preached in towns and villages and in synagogues. He healed many people of their diseases and sicknesses as he did His Father’s work of building the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus had compassion on the unbelievers of this world. He went to the lame and the lowly to bring hope into their lives as he asked them to follow Him. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and those who choose to follow Him are His sheep. Jesus was the ultimate leader because He was loving and compassionate to those who followed Him. They were drawn to Him and wanted to be a part of sharing the good news of the Gospel.
Jesus showed great compassion, and in order to really do that, he had to get his hands dirty. It’s not always easy or in our comfort zone, but it’s in those situations where God’s compassion really shines!
Just as Jesus called out his 12 Apostles to send into the villages, Jesus also calls us as believers to go into this broken world and make disciples of those around us as we too grow in our walk with Him. We are not to see the unbelievers of this world as our enemies, but as those who need the compassion of Christ shown to them just like we did! Because we are in Christ, we should clothe ourselves with compassion as we engage our oikos and share the good news of Christ with them.
What are some ways that Jesus has shown compassion to you recently as one of His sheep? What are some ways you have shown the compassion of Christ to others? What are some ways where you can “get your hands dirty” and take showing God’s compassion to the next level?