Like I said yesterday, I'm reading through the gospels chronologically right now. Many of the stories, I've heard time and again, and yet God is always teaching me something new through His Word.
One thing that has really been apparent to me in a new way is Jesus' compassion.
Sure we hear that Jesus was loving and compassionate, but his compassion is being illuminated for me in a new way.
"Herod sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it,t hey followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore and saw a great crowd, he had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them many things and heal their sick." (From Matthew 14:10-14 and Mark 6:27-34)
So here's John the Baptist, whom Jesus has recently called the greatest man born of a woman. He's also Jesus' cousin, close in age as we know from Luke 1. After however many days it takes to bury John and travel to where Jesus is, John's disciples tell Jesus that he's dead. I wonder if they told him the details of how? Probably... (details in Matthew 14:1-12). So then, Jesus wants to get away by himself, understandably. He gets on this boat to go somewhere quietly by himself, but when he gets to the other shore, there are crowds of people waiting for him. He doesn't turn the boat around, he doesn't get out and make a bee-line for the nearest mountain top. He feels compassion for them because they want to be lead, so he begins to teach them and heal the sick.
That really nudged my heart.
How selfless. How caring. True compassion.
How often I am selfish in what I'm willing to give to others - selfish with my time and energy. Somehow i've adopted this idea that I can only give so much of myself. That wasn't Jesus' attitude.
Lord, help me to become more compassionate!