“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14
Before reading today’s devotion, please pray: Dear Father, Please open my eyes to what you would have me glean from today’s reading of Your words. Amen
For background, please read Matthew 14:6-14. But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Jesus just received the news that John the Baptist, his cousin, his friend, his fellow teacher, had been wickedly killed.
Can you imagine the anguish, the frustration, the anger, Jesus was experiencing?
He obviously felt the need to get away, (verse 13b). Yet, the crowds heard of this Jesus. The teacher. The healer. The Explainer of how life should work. Desperate to see him for themselves, maybe even wanting to just touch his cloak, they went to where he was.
At a time when he was desperate for some solitude, a time for processing what had happened, a crowd was coming for him. Ever been there? A place where you just need a moment to yourself, and you just can’t seem to get it!
He probably heard them approaching. From afar, excited exclamations here and there, and then hushed whispers when Jesus himself came into view.
In verse 14, Jesus gazed at the crowd and had compassion on them. He chose, at that time, to put their needs above his own, and he healed their sick too.
Was Jesus raring to go at that moment, just waiting for a ministry opportunity? Probably not. Do all ministry opportunities happened solely when we are well-rested, well-fed, and stress-free.
Yet Jesus knew God could have kept the crowd away, but He didn’t.
Jesus could have said, ‘Father, I am too tired, too distraught, too stressed,’ but he didn’t. Jesus could have turned off his emotions and chose to run on ‘auto-pilot’ to get through his calling, but he didn’t.
In verse 14, we read when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
The grieving Jesus, who could have used a bit of compassion himself, a listening ear, a should to cry on, or at the very least, a momentary break from his work, allowed his broken heart to pick up the pieces and he served whole-heartedly with compassion.
1) What ‘allowances’ do I make for myself, to ignore serving opportunities?
2) Do I ever begrudgingly set myself on ‘autopilot’ turning off my emotions, to simply go through the motions of obedience to God?
Thank you for reading! Please return tomorrow for the next post.