By Joe Moss
Matthew Chapter 14.
We’ve all heard the story. Jesus performs the incredible miracle of feeding the 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Of course, in typical Jesus fashion, he comes through big and blows everyone away.
What’s amazing to me is the reason Jesus was in this place with 5,000 men (not including their families) in the first place. Just a few verses earlier, Jesus received news that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been murdered.
Beheaded. Killed. Murdered. Ya.
Then Jesus tried to withdraw to a solitary place on a boat to probably get away from it all. But people near by found out that Jesus was out floating around on the boat and followed him from the shore by foot. When He landed and saw the crowd, the bible says “… He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
He just found out His relative was brutally killed! And still- compassion… healing for the sick. Jesus does it again. He just wanted to be alone for a bit. I don't think that's unreasonable to ask, given the circumstances. Don't you?
Have you ever felt like you were “not in the mood”? I can only speculate, but I can’t imagine that Jesus wasn't in the mood to be around people following such terrible news. Much less, in the mood to have compassion.
People can be so demanding at times. Sometimes selfish, sure.
There are times when I don’t feel like “I’m in the mood” or that I just don't have anything left to give.. OK, a lot of times actually. In fact, it doesn’t take much to take me off my game. But I’m challenged by the actions of Jesus. How selfless and sacrificial- to set aside your feelings, whatever the circumstances are, and be compassionate to people? What incredible love.
I'm not alone this struggle. I'm sure I'm not the only one overwhelmed by the demands that people place on me.
I pray that I can find the strength and faith to press through in similar moments- when people whom God has placed on my path need empathy, love, & encouragement.
God, help me to have compassion regardless of the circumstances. Even when I’m not feeling good, not in the mood, or just plain tired. Use me in spite of the hardship, so You get the glory. Amen.