35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
It’s easy to look at people and see a crowd, but Jesus looked at a crowd and saw people. And the people he saw were like sheep without a shepherd – lost, scattered, defenceless and helpless. And it was this that moved his heart with compassion and moved him to action. Jesus said to the disciples, pray to God that he would send workers into the harvest, and the next thing he did was to send the 12 disciples out to the people.
Sometimes the size of the task or the opportunity can be overwhelming. Maybe we feel like we can do so little when the need is so great and end up doing nothing because we see a crowd.
But when we see people and not a crowd, our hearts will be moved like Jesus, moved with compassion, and moved into action, whatever that action may be.
What were 12 men going to achieve? It didn’t matter, Jesus sent them anyway.
Father, it’s so easy to see a crowd, to see faces without names and do nothing. I’m not going to ask you to send us to the crowd, because you have already sent us into the crowd. Instead, help us to see the people like you see them and be moved to compassion and into action.
Written by Andrew Martin