We all need to have more compassion for the people around us. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but this exercise will give you a glimpse of what Jesus saw as he walked around from place to place and challenge you to look at your community with His eyes.
(Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
The goal of looking at Jesus’ actions, reactions, and command in this story is to let go of negative outlooks of people and the world around us to look at the world through Christ’s eyes of compassion. (Jim Egli)
1. What do we feel?
(I tend to get overwhelmed looking at the crowds of people that don’t know Jesus)
a. When Christians look at the world around them today, what do they see?
(so many lost people)
And how do they respond emotionally?
(feeling small, like what can I do?)
b. What would Jesus see if he looked at the world around us today?
(helpless people with no leader)
What emotion would he feel?
Reread the passage, perhaps from a different translation.
2. What do we see?
(crowds of all types of people and ethnic groups)
a. What do many believers see as the problems with the world?
(violence and lawlessness)
What do they see as the solution?
(believing in Jesus to save them)
b. What would Jesus see as the problem or problems with the world today?
(people with no direction and not enough workers)
What would he see as the solution?
(pray for more workers to go)
3. How will we respond?
(walking around and praying for the neighborhood and for more workers)
a. How does this passage speak to you personally?
(caring about the people around me and challenging people to go)
b. What is one way that this story challenges you to action?
(harvest is plentiful and workers are few, so we must go!)
Hope you will share this with some friends to encourage them to go this week!
Let me know your thoughts as you ponder these words:
Passion translation states Matthew 9:35-39:
35 Jesus walked throughout the region with the joyful message of God’s kingdom realm. He taught in their meeting houses, and wherever he went he demonstrated God’s power by healing every kind of disease and illness.
36 When he saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. 37 He turned to his disciples and said, “The harvest is huge and ripe! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. 38 As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest his grain!”