When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
Our Hero Sees With Compassionate Eyes
You have had the week marked off on your calendar for months. You have been counting down the days until you are finally able to get on the plane and jet away to your favorite vacation spot. As the plane touches down, you finally exhale. You have arrived, and it is time to relax! As you enter the baggage claim area of the terminal, there is a welcoming committee. It is your boss, your clients, and a bunch of your coworkers! And they are not here to vacation. They have phone calls for you to answer, emails that need attention, demands, and deadlines that cannot wait. You thought you were getting a little rest and relaxation, but you ended up instead with work and more work.
Even though the example is a little over the top, it bears some resemblance to what happened to Jesus and his disciples in today’s Bible verse. They went away to rest—at Jesus’ suggestion—and when they arrived at their destination, their work was right there waiting to greet them. I know how I would have responded in that situation, and you probably do, too. That is what makes the way Jesus responded truly heroic.
Yes, his work followed him on vacation. But when he got off the boat, he didn’t see work waiting for him there. He saw people. People who needed him because they were confused and helpless, spiritually speaking. They were like sheep without a shepherd. And that pulled Jesus’ heart toward them.
Perhaps you can see in this scene on the shoreline shadows of something even bigger. The same Savior whose compassionate heart moved him to set aside rest here is the One whose compassionate heart moved him to set aside heaven itself in order to come and rescue us from the sins that would have condemned us.
Heroes sacrifice. Their hearts are pulled toward people in need, and they always make the time. They abide with the inconvenience. They reach out when others will not. That is what Jesus has perfectly done for us. Thank you, Jesus!
Jesus, my friend and hero, thank you for looking on me with compassion rather than condemnation. Thank you for rescuing me from my sin so I might spend my eternity with you. Amen.