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January 3, 2013

I reread Mark 6:32-56 today and was struck with the compassion of Jesus. Remember, what we see in Jesus is a perfect reflection of His Father.

1) Jesus knew His disciples were needing rest, so they were on their way to a remote location. They were followed and a large crowd of people met them on the shore. I love Jesus’ reaction (verse 34): “When Jesus arrived, He saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, His heart broke–like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them.” (The Message).  New International Version says, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  So He began teaching them many things.”

2) Jesus fed this huge group instead of sending them off hungry. He didn’t just give them a snack either. Verse 42 says, “They all ate their fill.”  He cared enough for their need to meet it to the full.  I see deep compassion there.

3) He didn’t forget His weary disciples in all this.. “The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers,” (The Message). One basket per apostle. They each had specific proof in their hands of His care and provision for them as an individual, even among this massive crowd. Even Judas Iscariot, who would later betray him, had been provided for. That’s compassion.

3) “As soon as the meal was finished, Jesus insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead across to Bethsaida while He dismissed the congregation,” (verse 45, The Message). Did you catch that? Jesus “insisted”. He knew how they needed to get away from the people and made sure they got their peace and quiet out at sea.  He genuinely cared for their emotional needs as well as the physical.

4) Jesus saw from land how the disciples were struggling against the wind.  He went out to them.  He didn’t walk away.  He didn’t ignore their situation..  For more information on where I’m going with this read my post “Why?” from January 1, 2013.

5) In the same blog I just referred you to, I also talk about how Jesus immediately responded to the terrified screams of the disciples.  Jesus wasted no time in comforting them AND taking care of their problem: the storm.

6) Mark 6:53-56 tells how the sick were brought to Jesus for healing.  This is nothing new; there are numerous places in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that talk about that.  But stop for a moment and think about this.  Would that many people have brought those they loved to someone who also showed no compassion?  Some, yes.  I don’t believe it would have been to the extent we read about.  Jesus saw each individual, their needs, hurts, rejections they had experienced.  He knew it all when He saw them.  I believe He had compassion on each one of them.  His love for you is no different.  He loves each of us equally.  Jesus and the Father don’t play favorites.

You’re loved by the very One Who created you!  He has compassion on you.  That compassion also encompasses your needs, hurts, wants, and longings.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines compassion as, “A deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another…”  Wow!  My Creator has a deep feeling of sharing my suffering.  Some other words that mean the same as compassion are: sympathy, tenderness, and kindness (Roget’s College Thesaurus).  Please don’t put up a wall by not receiving the truth of the Father’s compassion for you; allow this to soak into the deepest part of you.


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