The Story of Jesus
Have you seen someone, in their darkest hour, show more love and compassion than ever before? You would think that they would turn inward, to themselves, lick their wounds and generally care less about those around them. Actually, some do turn inward. But many don’t . As my uncle was dying, with no chance of recovery, we all gathered around my aunt in the waiting room. Another family suddenly came in weeping loudly for they were experiencing the same episode with a family member who time had come to leave earth. My aunt, without a second thought, jumped up from her chair and lovingly ministered to the wife of the soon deceased. Yes, when we come to the end, we are generally not as concerned about life stuff but more concerned about people in life and death situations.
The Son of God in human form has been told of the cruel death of John, “the one who prepared the way” for Jesus saving ministry to lost people, His first response is to slip away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. This is God and man, at the same time. Didn’t he know this would happen? Yes, but still the shock of cruel death of God’s servant, John, is felt by Jesus in human form. Does Jesus know this is also a precursor to what will happen to him soon? Is he slipping away to be by himself OR to be with His Father in heaven to discuss the cruelness of this earth in which He came to save? We cannot know, but we do know this…the people saw Him and followed Him and later were cared for in miraculous ways.
Matthew 14, Msg
13-14 When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.
15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”
16 But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”
17 “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.
18-21 Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
We will see, as we continue the story of Jesus, that before every great miracle of compassion and strength, Jesus gets alone to be with His Father. Mm. Jesus turns His grief for John to compassion for hungry people and provides a meal for five thousand (plus women and children) people! Mm. What a great example of what to do with our own grief. But wait! There is more to come…
Dear Heavenly Father, You came to earth to seek and to save the lost of which we are one of those. But we are now found in You, with You living in us. May we never lose sight of being with the Father continuously, never seeking to do anything by ourselves, for ourselves. May our bad times turn up the compassion within us for lost people, not hinder us. Yet, will I praise you, will always be our cry for there are so many who need you still. Guide our every thought and deed. May we be more like You with every breath we take and every challenging step we climb. Go with us, be with us. Keep us from causing pain to anyone, but help us instead be Your hands and feet to this dying world who is without You.
In Jesus Name, Amen