S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.”
Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” But instead, they went out and spread his fame all over the region.
When they left, a demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak was brought to Jesus. So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!” they exclaimed. But the Pharisees said, “He can cast out demons because he is empowered by the prince of demons.”
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:27–38 NLT
Jesus traveled all over and saw a lot of people and a lot of misery. Matthew says this wonderful thing: “When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.” Not judgment. Not superiority. Not disdain. Jesus just saw people with compassion.
Jesus was raising awareness for the coming of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God refers to the church, the gathering of God’s people who would be created through the Holy Spirit’s coming after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus had not died yet. This is why he would do a compassionate miracle and ask the individual NOT to spread the news. If the countryside came out for short-term meals and healing, they would miss the point of Jesus’ mission. Feeding and healing are temporary; repenting and turning to God is eternal. Jesus showed great compassion even when it seemingly slowed him down.
How can you slow down and show Jesus’ compassion?
Are you tempted to retreat into the false comfort of judgment, superiority and disdain rather than compassion?
What is “tough love”? Is it compassionate?
Lord, thank you for showing me compassion. Fill me with your heart for others!