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The Compassion of Jesus


Matthew 9:35-38

At the first of the year the challenge that was extended to all of us was to “Learn More About Jesus.”

A lot of people are converted to a way of thinking (We stand and pound doctrine and ritual); a lot of people are converted to the church (they are actively involved in the activities of their church); a lot of people are converted to baptism (baptized because that is what it takes to be saved); people are converted to a lot of different things…but unless you are converted to Christ…unless you truly become His disciple…unless He sincerely becomes  your Lord…you have nothing!

So, let’s look at the passage that was read…and let’s each one dedicate ourselves to be more like Jesus. Look at verse 35 again:

35 And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

But there is something else here. Look at this found in Luke 4:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,  Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 

Now, let’s learn something else about Him…look at verse 36: And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.

The word “distressed” or “harassed” comes from a Greek word that means to “flay” and it means to “strip off the skin”…”to strip away”…to strip away their money, their possessions…to strip away their dignity…to criticize harshly…it is to harass.

And notice that they were “downcast” or “helpless.”

So basically the people that Jesus has compassion on here are those people who have been “stripped of everything” and just “tossed aside” as if they had no value….they are the poorest of the poor. (“Get out of the way, we don’t want you around us, just get!)

You see the Pharisees became the religious police and they became the standard bearers of what was acceptable, what was clean and unclean, and who could come to the synagogue and who couldn’t.

And it wasn’t only the blind, deaf, or paralyzed or diseased and sick who were declared “unclean” there were others.

But look at verse 36 again: “And seeing the multitudes He felt compassion for them…”

Now I want you to look at this…there is a great verse in Isaiah 65:2

2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,

 Jesus says it this way in Matthew 23:37:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

 Who else would do this for you? Who else would reach out like this to give you hope…to add you to the kingdom of God…to restore you back into full relationship with God…to save you from the condemnation of your sins?

Jesus is before you with His hands and arms stretched out…you will find no greater love for you.