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The Compassionate Christ

Mark 8:1-2 (ESV) — In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.”

When is the last time you stopped to consider the compassion and love of Christ for you? How often does it cross your mind that Jesus looks upon you, not with contempt or disgust, but love? Most people I know, even strong believers, have a difficult time believing Jesus thinks about them this way. We not only tend to believe we must perform for his acceptance and love, but we tend to want to earn his acceptance and love. His compassion and love embarrass us unless we feel we’ve deserved them. 

But Jesus has a heart of compassion for us. Our passage today reminds us of this reality. In Mark 8:1-2, we see a familiar story of Jesus preparing to feed the thousands of people. But we’re not focusing in on the miracle itself. That is wonderful. And that is what most people put their attention on. I want us to focus on why he fed them. 

Jesus told his disciples, “I feel compassion for the people.” When Jesus saw the large crowds of people, and the fact that they hadn’t eaten much for days as they traveled around listening to Him, He had compassion on them. His heart welled up with love and concern for them. He wanted to see their needs met and their stomachs satisfied. 

Our Savior has not changed, friends. He is a compassionate Lord that cares about the needs of His people. He wants to see our needs met. This is the beauty and privilege prayer offers us. We can present our requests before God, and know that He not only hears them, but his heart is moved by them. He cares about us because He loves us. Know that Jesus sees you, and his glance is not one of shame or scorn, but compassion. You are loved. Don’t hesitate to cry out to him and make your requests known before him.

Reflection & Journal:

- Why is Jesus’ moved with compassion for the crowds? What does this reveal about God?

- What are some parallels we can draw about Jesus’ compassion for our own lives and challenges? 

- Do you view Jesus as looking at you with compassion and love? Why or why not?

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