Today’s Reading: Matthew 9:18-38 (additional reading: Psalm 11:1-7 & Proverbs 3:11-12)
A farmer was out ploughing his field one spring morning. The spring thaw had just occurred and there were many muddy valleys in the field. Through one particularly wet place his tractor became stuck in the mud. The harder he tried, the deeper he became stuck. Finally, he walked over to his neighbor’s to ask for help. The neighbour came over and looked at the situation. He shook his head, and then said, “It doesn’t look good, but I tell you what. I’ll give it a try pulling you out. But if we don’t get it out, I’ll come sit in the mud with ya!”Have you tried “mud-sitting” with a friend? It may be the best thing you can do! In Matthew 9:35-38 we see something very important about Jesus ministry, Jesus went (35), He saw” (36), He had” (36) and He said” (37).
Christ Went To the People (vs. 35) He took the primary responsibility to minister to the people’s spiritual need by going to them. Christ intentionally entered into the lives of these people:He worshipped with them in their synagogues, He went to weddings with them, He worked with them on their fishing boats, He helped harvest the fruits of the field, He laughed with them when one of them made a joke and He cried with them with one of them died. Christ knew who they were and their personal pains because he purposely entered their daily lives. If Jesus went to people, then why do we spend so much time sitting in the church wait for them to come to us.
Christ Really Saw them (36) There is a difference between seeing a person , and actually seeing who they really are! Christ actually saw them individually. He didn’t just see a bunch of people,a crowd. But He looked into every single soul. Every person we meet is unique – I have been learning there is no such thing as a homeless person, a drug dealer or a alcoholic. Jesus doesn’t seem stereotypes, he sees souls.
He Had (Compassion On Them) – When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd… (36) – literally: He was gripped with compassion. The Greek verb means suffered within, very literally the declaration is that His bowels were moved within Him. The Greek understanding was that the bowels were regarded as the seat of violent passion, such as anger or love. We as a church must not just be committed to the people of this community, but we must be moved with compassion.
Then He said (37) – Christ had experience first-hand and had been effected by his experience before he had the ability to pass it one to the disciples Christ did not present a clear and powerful presentation of what it would take to be an effective evangelist unless he had gone through the process! UNTIL he saw the people, UNTIL he felt their needs, UNTIL he experienced their pain and UNTIL he was gripped with compassion.
Let’s get reconnect to those in need – so that we can speak the words of Jesus effectively into their lives.