“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)
I remember a time early on in our faith. Jody and I were in our late 20s. Most of our family didn’t believe in Jesus at the time. Holidays in that season of life were tough. They were tough because of the weight we felt for the people we cared about so dearly, knowing they had yet to accept Jesus.
Those trips gave me a sense of how Jesus felt in Matthew 9:36, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (emphasis added).
That word for compassion in the original language literally means: to be moved in the inward parts. More specifically the bowels. In the ancient world they thought the bowels were the seat of love and pity. We even carry some of that language over to today, ever hear anyone say, “Go with your gut?”
It’s that innermost part of us that’s moved when we feel compassion. This is what Jesus felt when He looked on those who still needed Him. A generous heart bleeds with compassion for the lost.
There’s a story of D. L. Moody, the great evangelist of the early 20th century. The historic church and Bible Institute in Chicago bear his name. He really felt this. In fact, he felt the burden to share the gospel with at least one person each day. If he was in bed at the end of the day, realizing he hadn’t shared with anyone yet he would get up and go out on the streets of Chicago to find someone to tell about Jesus.
That’s a heart that bleeds for the lost.
God has compassion for the lost. And our generous God gave His only Son so that those who would believe in Him would have eternal life (John 3:16). As Christians, we share in that same compassion for the lost. And in our generosity, we have to realize that as we partner with God in expanding His Kingdom, He uses our resources to reach the lost.
Proverbs 11:30 says that a wise man saves souls. Let us be wise with our resources and use them for Kingdom impact.