“But when he saw the crowds he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed, and cast away as sheep not having a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 – Darby Bible Translation)
The Greek word here for compassion is “splanchnizomai”. The word literally means to “be moved in the bowel.” When Jesus saw the crowds, he noticed and felt their pain and suffering deep within his gut. He “experienced” their trouble and helplessness and he was stirred with profound, intense emotion to do something about it. He gathered his disciples and empowered them with authority to cast out demons and to heal every disease and sickness.
Have you ever encountered others who seemed abused or abandoned? What about the young man begging for money on your way to work? What about your neighbor who is a single mom? What about your family member who just needs you to sit down and listen with an open heart? How can we show compassion to those around us? First…stop and take notice. It is so easy in our busy lives to rush on by without a second glance for those who are lost and hurting. Second, ask God if there is a way for you to truly help them. God might say “no” but he also might say “yes.” He might tell you to give the young man the money in your pocket or buy him a sandwich. He might tell you to ask your neighbor if you can babysit a few hours her. He might tell you to share some encouragement and pray for someone. The important thing is to stop, notice, pray and do something.
Prayer: Lord, help us notice and see others as you see them. Help us feel what you feel about them. Help us take appropriate action as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Lord, give us your compassion for those around us.
By Davina Winn, Assistant Pastor