By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“God’s compassion is a compassion that reveals itself in servanthood. – Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill, and Douglas Morrison
There are a few different Bible stories that I think we are all guilty of skipping over. We’ve read it so many times that it becomes jaded. We could almost quote it word for word because we’ve heard it over and over again.
When this happens, we can miss out on how God is trying to speak to us through the passage in a fresh way. God can reveal something new to us in even the most well-known verses.
This happened to me recently as I read through the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. We’ve all heard this passage hundreds of times, but I noticed something that I’d never seen before.
This line stuck out to me:
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
You see, Jesus didn’t heal out of constraint or feed them out of obligation. He did it because He had compassion on them. Jesus understood their suffering and saw their pain. He knew what it was to be human and knew their troubles.
Here’s what it means for us: We have a God who has compassion for our circumstances. Christ became a human. He knows your pain. He understands what you’re going through. He was beaten, betrayed, and abandoned. He has compassion for you.
It also means that we should have that same compassion for others. Jesus didn’t supply the crowd’s needs all on His own. Sure, He healed them but look what else happens.
The disciples tell Jesus that he needs to send the crowds away so they can buy themselves food.
“Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat’” (Matthew 14:16).
Jesus healed the crowds and he had the power to feed them as well. But instead, he tells the disciples to give them something to eat. Jesus performed the miracles of multiplication on the five loaves and two fish, but he had the disciples distribute it.
God is calling each and every one of us to show the same compassion on the lost that He has for us. Make no mistake, in reaching the lost, God will perform the miracles. But He wants to work through you to distribute His blessing.
Parents: Ask your children about the story of Feeding the 5,000. See if they can tell you what happens. Read them the story and ask them to point out something they’ve never noticed before.