What Jesus Did! 'Compassion over Cares' — Matthew 14:13-14

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

When Jesus heard what happened to John, Jesus left in a boat. Jesus went alone to a place where there were no people. But the people heard that Jesus left. So the people left their towns and followed Jesus. They went by land to the same place Jesus went. When Jesus came there, he saw many, many people there. Jesus felt sorry for them, and he healed the people that were sick.
— Matthew 14:13-14
Illustration of Matthew 14:13-14 —  Jesus felt sorry for them, and he healed the people that were sick.

Key Thought

One of the most remarkable qualities of Jesus is his sense of compassion. He can see, feel, and identify with the desperation of people in need and then he is willing to act on that compassion in a way that personally involves himself. Not only do I admire that trait, but I also desire to make it part of my life. Unfortunately, I have to battle my selfishness on one hand and my indiscipline on the other to say no to my tendency to just ignore the needs around me.
In this powerful situation, Jesus is grieving the loss of his cousin John the Baptist and is also fully aware that John's death signals that he, too, will face death. Yet rather than leaving the crowd behind, he ministers to them and to his disciples as well. While we know that Jesus took time away from the crowd to be alone with his father and that Jesus will spend much of the rest of his ministry away from the crowd teaching his disciples, he will interface repeatedly with the crowd to offer compassion and share God's love. Sometimes under heavy stress, there is no greater comfort than to be used by God to minister to others—not for our good, but for theirs!

Today's Prayer

Almighty and sacrificial Father, teach me to not be so self-focused and self-absorbed. Thank you for Jesus' example of active compassion as he not only feels the pain of others, but also acts relieve it. Please use me to minister to those in pain around me in a way which brings glory to you and reflects the face of my Savior and your Son. In his name, Jesus my Lord, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus did not stay in Nazareth. He went and lived in Capernaum, a town near the lake (Lake Galilee). Capernaum is in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali. Jesus did this to make happen what the prophet Isaiah said: "{Look at} the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the lands by the road that goes to the sea, the area past the Jordan River— Galilee, the land where non-Jewish people live. Those people live in darkness (sin), but they have seen a great light; the light has come for those people that live in the land that is dark like a grave." From that time Jesus began to tell people {what God wanted}. This is what he said: "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon." Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Simon's brother Andrew. The two brothers were fishermen and they were fishing in the lake with a net. Jesus said, "Come follow me. I will make you {a different kind of} fishermen. You will work to gather people, {not fish}." Simon and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus. Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee. They were preparing their nets to catch fish. Jesus told the brothers to come with him.

Matthew 4:13-21

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages. Jesus taught in their synagogues and told people the Good News about the kingdom. And Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Jesus saw the many people and felt sorry for them. Jesus felt sorry for the people because the people were worried and helpless. The people were like sheep without a shepherd to lead them. Jesus said to his followers, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to him that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest."

Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus called his followers to him and said, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me three days, and now they have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint while going home."

Matthew 15:32

Don't be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of other people, too.

Philippians 2:4

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.