Reading: Matthew 14: 13-21
Verse 14: When Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus always seemed to be in demand. Once He began to teach and heal, there always seemed to be a group or a crowd gathered around Him. He had interesting and sometimes challenging parables and His interpretation of the Scriptures and what it meant to have faith all seemed to center around love and hope and forgiveness. There was a hunger for these things and Jesus offered them. For each, there was draw to Jesus. This day, many are seeking healing. The people are seeking Jesus’ touch to heal them physically or spiritually or mentally. So this day is no different than all the others. Jesus is tired and seeks to withdraw to a solitary place, but the people follow along on shore.
“When Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick”. Instead of being mad or getting back in the boat and heading off someplace else, a tired Jesus has compassion. He gets out of the boat and starts healing them. We do not know how or what He healed them of, but we do know that He healed many because as evening approaches, the disciples come to Jesus with a practical concern. Feeding the people – one more way to care for them. But Jesus’ response challenges the disciples: “You feed them”. Their answer: but, but, but. Our answer would have been the same. What can we do, Lord?
Instead of being angry with the disciples or seeking to walk away from them, Jesus has compassion. He solves their problem too. With five loaves and two fish, Jesus feeds the multitude. His compassion never ends. Even though tired and seeking solitude, Jesus heals many and as the day draws long, He feeds them too, tending to a physical need of the people.
Jesus continues to do all of this today. In those times of hurt and pain, Jesus heals our brokenness. He heals our physical or spiritual or emotional hurts. He also provides for our needs – our daily bread and so much more. Jesus offers us Hope and love and forgiveness today as He has compassion on us. Whatever our need or our hurt, Jesus says to us, “Bring them to me”.