“I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat.” - Mark 8:2
It’s easy to grow so self-centered that we don’t look past our own problems or pain. Do we respond like Jesus did when faced with people in obvious distress and confusion? Jesus had been teaching and healing in the towns and villages of Galilee. At this time, a huge crowd had been with Jesus for three days, and they ran out of food. “I feel sorry for these people,” the Lord said. “They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat” (Mark 8:2).
Jesus felt sorry—he felt what we would call “pity” or “compassion.” Jesus had a shepherd’s heart that was moved as he observed the crowds of people around him who needed a “shepherd” to lead and guide them “because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help” (Matthew 9:36). Someone has defined com-passion as “your hurt in my heart.” Jesus definitely took the hurt of people into his heart.
Perhaps you object to this challenge to care compassionately for others. Maybe you think you have too many hurts of your own. Yet the Lord heals our own hurts as we reach out to attend to the hurts of others.
Jesus feels people’s hurt in his heart, and he is in my heart—so guess what happens: Their hurt is in my heart! Once we feel great compassion for others, we will discover a great motivating force that will move us to compassionate action.
For Further Study: Mark 8:1-10
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.