Matthew 9:36… “As He saw the crowds he was moved with pity for them; they were harassed and dejected” (Moffatt). “They were bewildered” (Goodspeed).
No one else saw it, but Jesus did. The disciples saw the crowds and the multitudes, but they didn’t see the soul of the crowd. The disciples were “bigness-minded.” Note Mark 13:1… “Look, Teacher, what size these stones and buildings are!” Even the disciples were awed by bigness. “Bigger must be better” is the mentality of people today. It’s time to stop measuring achievement by the size of the crowds and buildings. Jesus saw the people harassed, dejected, bewildered, weary, with empty places in their hearts, despondent, scattered, defrauded, and exploited.
This same problem still exists. Our world today is a harassed and disillusioned generation. Jesus wants these folks harvested (Matthew 9:37-38). Jesus said to this bewildered people in Matthew 11:28-30, “I have for your weary feet, rest, and I have for all who have strayed, a goal and a vision and a way.” The crowds and buildings mean nothing if leaders see only bigness, and if bigness is their sole purpose for existence. Jesus had a deeper interest–the quality of the human heart. If people are hurting, it’s not bigness that they want to see, but it’s Jesus, a compassionate Jesus Who sees their hearts and their needs. He fed them, healed them, and instructed them.
In our text, when Jesus saw the fainting and bewildered crowd, He saw them as sheep having no shepherd. Let me put it this way… The pastors today who see only bigness are not true shepherds if they have no interest in the soul of the crowd. Jesus was moved with compassion, a word that describes the deep inner mercy of God. Jesus considered the Pharisees as non-shepherds. Jesus sees the soul of the crowds today and the need for shepherds.
Pastor George Belobaba
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