HOW DO WE VIEW PEOPLE? When you leave home how do you view people? Do you view people through eyes of fear, anger, compassion, or as friends or as people to be avoided? Or do you just see people as people? Or have you even thought about it? Do you know how Jesus viewed people when He was on earth? “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36 NIV). I am sure before we were saved that Jesus saw us in the same way.
Jesus saw people as harassed and helpless. As Jesus walked among the people He saw that they were just plain tired and weary from all the conditions they faced. They had lost heart and were dismayed as to what to do. The words used here indicated a person who was beaten, battered, and scarred from constant struggle with constant abuse. The people were constantly insulted by those who had power over them in the secular and religious realm and now felt they could no longer take it but they were helpless to change things. Sheep usually had a good shepherd over them because the sheep were considered really valuable but the people of Israel existed like sheep without a shepherd. Their “Leaders” were poor to say the least and for the most part unconcerned about the real needs of the people. The “Leaders” offered no profitable direction to the masses of people at all.
In contrast there was Jesus who had compassion on the people. Someone has said, “Compassion is the disposition that fuels acts of kindness and mercy.” Or you might say if one has true compassion they will, “Put their money where their mouth is” or they will “Put shoe leather to their words.” The word “compassion” carries the thought of someone’s bowels churning within them because of their feelings for the needs of others. Jesus is the prime example of what it means to have compassion on others. Jesus healed the masses of people physically and spiritually. He fed the hungry, offered forgiveness, gave Godly direction, encouraged weary and distressed hearts, lifted burdens and reminded people to take care of widows and orphans by doing it Himself. How do we see the people around us today? And how do we react to them? Do we have a compassionate heart like Jesus? And if we do how will we live it out? Will our professed compassion fuel us to acts of kindness and mercy?