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April 10, 2015



Text: “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep  without a shepherd. And he began to teach  them many things. ” Mark 6:34

After their labors on the limited commission the apostles returned to Jesus.  The Master hears their reports. Realizing their fatigue, he suggests they all go for rest and renewal. A boat is secured and they seem to strike out along the west bank of the Sea of Galilee. They found a remote place but soon they were surrounded by a large crowd. Jesus is touched by  their confusion, their ailments, and probably their poverty. Mark says, “…he had compassion on them.” Whenever I read this passage I am touched by the tender heart of our Savior.

Shortly after this Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37) This parable is always moving. It is probably implanted in the mind of everyone who has heard or read it. The unnamed hero who performed the good deed was truly a doer of acts of compassion. When he had finished the story, Jesus asked the questioner, “Which of these men do your think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” Luke 10:36 The man answered, “The one who showed him mercy.”  “And Jesus said to him, You go, and do likewise.” Luke10:37  Jesus’ response was both earnest and imperative.

When you turn your back on someone who needs assistance you are turning  your back on Jesus! Our Lord showed his love and compassion for all kinds of people: the suffering, the weak and infirm, the hungry, the poor, and the grieving. He healed them, fed them, comforted them, and taught them. These were regular features of his ministry. He traveled so many places in the whole of Galilee and Judea, and every time, he was surrounded by those from near and far. He was so dedicated to the continuance of this activity that he empowered his disciples to demonstrate these merciful actions when he gave them the limited commission: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.” Matthew 10:8 ESV  That’s what they did!   Mark 6:13

Jesus had no more vision to see the needy and infirm than we do. But he had the vision of a merciful heart.  This is what it takes to give assistance to those who  are in need (whatever it  is).  James gives a case of someone who has mislaid his mercy. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,'” without giving them things needed for the body, what good is that?” James 2:15-16 We know that we are not able to fill every need, but we need to be doing all we can for the indigent.

Do you remember “Baby Jessica?” She was 18 months old when she fell down  a well in her aunt’s yard in Midland, Texas and remained wedged there for 58 hours. This story was followed intensely by the media and tons of people flocked to Midland with comfort, aid, and equipment to rescue her. Besides flowers, toys and cards, innumerable people donated money totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars which were set up in a trust fund which the little girl would receive  when she reached the age of 25.

Americans are known as generous people who help many needy both here and abroad. Floods, earthquakes, famine, and disease are a few of the cases where we will send checks or debit cards to aid assistance. Many persons will donate their time and skills to go to a foreign country suffering disaster. In our own country we aid when tragedy strikes.  But what assistance do they give between disasters? What about those near us who are lacking or suffering? Do we look the other way? Do we “pass by on the other side”? If so, are we indifferent?

Remember the words of Jesus, “You go, and do likewise.”






One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    I like seeing your comments on Jesus. I have a book entitled Imagine Meeting Him by Robert Rasmussen. It’s 21 retelling of stories about when Jesus met various persons. I’ve read it now probably 3 times. The epistles are great for explaining the details of our faith. I think often I’ve missed the character of Jesus, and it’s His life that must be being created in us.

    Thanks for this look at Him.


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