“I Have Compassion For Them”
1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” 4 His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” 5 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. 6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
A. Jesus’ compassion for “them”
1. “They” are the gentiles
2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”
2. We were one of “them”
B. Jesus’ summoning of us
1. To satisfy the “gentiles”
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people…
“But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”
2. Who are the “gentiles” to us?
We all have various forms of prejudice and discrimination against others, based on circumstances of our upbringing and education. But Jesus has no prejudice and discrimination against anyone, and pours out his compassion to everyone equally. By that compassion of His, we ourselves were also saved. Let us understand how widely His compassion extends, so that we know how small and narrow our value is. In doing so, let us also share with many others the joy of being satisfied with Jesus’ compassion.
1) What does Jesus’ compassion mean for you?
2) Who are the “gentiles” to you?