What Compassion Tastes Like – Matthew 14:1-21

Reflection from my reading in Matthew 14:1-21 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

From Retreat To Mission Trip

Jesus had just heard the news that his fellow minister, John the Baptist, has died. Jesus was planning on taking some time alone to be with God and possibly mourn. The crowd heard Jesus was going away and followed him on foot!

Personally, I would be annoyed if I was trying to get away and people kept following me. But Jesus had a different response.

“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14

Jesus had compassion, which literally means “to have pity.” Jesus felt the needs of the crowd and gave up his comfort and rest for their sake. He proceeded to heal the sick among them and spend the day with them. Here’s the principle…

Compassion Fuels Loving Action

Jesus’ love was demonstrated again after a long day of healing as the disciples recommended the people go back to the village and get some food. But Jesus was not ready to send them away yet. Earlier that day Jesus was headed to be alone; now he couldn’t get enough of these people!

Opportunity To Teach 

Jesus was a master at taking opportunities to teach his disciples while meeting needs of people. Instead of telling them what he was going to do he said, “You feed them.”  The disciples must have been shocked, because they only had five loves and two fish!

Jesus then said, “Bring them here.” He prayed and asked the disciples to distribute the food. Miraculously, he was able to feed all 5,000 of the men and many other women and children. Everyone ate all they wanted and there was 12 baskets of leftovers!

In this exchange, Jesus showed his disciples what compassion looks like, demonstrated his power, tested their faith, and involved them in the process of meeting needs!  

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