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30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. 33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
I. Rest and Recreation are not ends in themselves but aids to staying in the compassionate war for souls
A. “Come apart or you’ll come apart” We need cyclical work and rest (Sabbath/agrarian) Leisure should be recreation, if you need a vacation from your vacation you need to rethink your recreation 2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may have an abundance for every good work.
B. Needs energize & enervate Jesus instructed the disciples to leave those not willing to learn (6:11) and modeled investing in those eager for Truth
II. Compassion is an essential part of God’s character that motivates Him to act in the best interest of others
A. Ex 33:19 Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Piel= intensive/intentional love Ex 34:6-7
Ex 34:6 "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful/compassionate and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
Ps 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. (cf Lam 3:23ff)
B. Ps 103:8 The LORD is merciful/compassionate/racham and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy/loyal love/hesed.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy/hesed toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities/racham his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15…as a flower… 17 But the mercy/hesed of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. (Cf Dt 13:17-18 empty hands, listen, keep, do = comp & bless)
C. Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
D. Lu 10:33 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.
Lu 15:20 But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
III. True Compassion meets true needs according to the truth (Priority of Spiritual over the physical)
A. Sin 2Ch 36:15 LORD God sent warnings to them by His messengers…because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
Ps 78:38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath; (Cf Ex 34:6-10 God will still do awesome things even after the Golden Calf)
B. Directionless Mt 10:34 the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons." 35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." 11:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
C. Sick Mt 14:14 Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Mt 20:34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
Mr 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."
D. Sorrow over loss (son of widow of Nain) Lu 7:13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."
E. Hungry Mt 15:32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
Mr 8:2 "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why is it that when we take a vacation, we often take a vacation from God as well? Consequences? (Restores my soul Ps 23) Cure?
2. Why do we think there is a limit to God’s grace/power? If it’s limitless why are we prone to burnout? Motive & God’s will?
3. When we experience God’s consequences or discipline, why do we sometimes run away from God rather than be embraced by His love?
4. What’s the balance between feeling someone’s pain and solving their problem by restoring a Biblical perspective with the Truth?
5. How can you follow the lead of your Master in demonstrating true (rather than bogus) compassion towards those around you?