Scripture Reading — Matthew 9:35-38
He had compassion on them, because they were . . . like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 —
In the days before radio, television, or mass media, the only way to get the message out was by word of mouth. That’s what Jesus did.
Jesus got up close and personal with the people of his country--people who were broken and bruised by life. Rather than being repelled by them, Jesus was responsive to them. He viewed them with compassion. He saw the fear, the confusion, the pain in their eyes. In response, his heart broke. This is where all effective evangelism begins. It starts with the heart--a heart that is broken over the brokenness we see in others.
Jesus’ heart was moved by his exposure to shepherdless sheep. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” The need was obvious. As Jesus looked out upon the people, he saw helpless, defenseless, forsaken sheep. He saw people who had no chance of survival on their own.
When you look out over your neighborhood and community, what do you see? Do you see people who are spiritually unable to find their way back home? Do you see people who are floundering or flustered by life? Do you see people who are desperate or deceived? If you do, remember that unbelievers are not the enemy; they’re merely enslaved by the enemy.
Dear God, stir within us a concern for the lost and the lonely around us. Give us eyes to see their true spiritual condition without you and to point them to you. In Jesus, Amen