Compassion for the Crowd (Matthew 9:36)



2013-04-28 Compassion for the Crowd| Matthew 9:36

Matt.9:3636 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

-Jesus prepares his disciples before sending them out into mission

-Jesus models the passion we need to overcome our apathy toward the people who are the object of his mission

  1. How Jesus responds to the crowds
  1. What he sees: Curious_ but

 

Dis-connected_ from God

 

…when he saw the crowds

  • came from all over the region to follow him (Mat 4.24)
  • astonished at this teaching (Mat 7.28)
  • marveled at his miracles (Mt 9.33)
  • yet not attached to Jesus in any significant way
  • goal of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry – that curious crowds become committed disciples
  1. What he understands: Abused_and

 

Abandoned_ by religious leaders

 

…because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

 

  • feeding themselves instead of the sheep (Ezek 34)
  • have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bound up the wounded, sought for the lost (Ezek)
  • preach but do not practice (Mat 23)
  • lay heavy burdens but don’t lift a finger to help (Mat 23)
  1. What he feels: Warm Compassion_ resulting in

 

Practical Relief_.        

…he had compassion on them…

  • Splanchnizomai – to be moved in one’s bowels, the heart, seat of tender affection to Jews; “his heart went out to them”
  • Also responds in practical ways – heals the sick, gives them something to eat, seeks for the lost ones; as here – he sends out disciples into the harvest
  • Because the religious leaders – the human shepherds – failed to tend the sheep, God comes – Jesus comes – as the good shepherd to tend his flock
  • Jesus says “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mat 11.28-30)
  1. How we should respond to the crowds
  1. Recognize their Behavior

 

  • going from church to church following the latest fad, movement, teacher – disconnected
  • experimenting with other religions or spiritual experiences – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, New Age beliefs, the occult
  • reading about other religions – books, magazines, internet
  • writing or blogging about alternative religious experiences or thinking, including agnosticism, atheism.
  1. Understand their Thinking_.
  • Spend time with them to understand their real needs – not just “they don’t know Jesus”- like Jesus did:

Matthew’s friends in his home; Zacchaeus in his home; woman at the well; those he stopped along the road esp for healing

  • Discover their objections – hypocrites in the church, religious leaders who have fallen or abused their power and other people, theological issues like the problem of evil, personal disappointments like loss of a loved one at young age
  • Jesus did this with both Mary and Martha when Lazarus died; Paul did this with the philosophers on Mars Hill – he spoke their language in order to address their theological issue (Acts 17.28)
  1. Care Concretely

 

  • As Jesus did – feeding, healing, befriending according to their need
  • Two parables as examples of ways to care concretely –
  1. Help_ the Helpless_.

 

  • Good Samaritan (Lk 10.33-35) – A man fell among robbers and was beaten, lay beside the road. Religious leaders from his own nation passed him by, “but a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him…bound up his wounds…set him own his own animal…brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
  1. Welcome_ the Wayward_,

or Forgive_ the Fallen_.

 

  • Prodigal Son or Forgiving Father (Lk 15.15.20ff) The son had squandered his inheritance in loose living and decided to return to his father, “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him and brought him new clothing and celebrated his home-coming.

 

Goal of our ministry, like Jesus’:

– that curious crowds become committed disciples

– so we must repent of our apathy and put on Christ’s heart of compassion for them

–Sing Compassion Hymn

——————-

  1. What Jesus sees about the crowds.

…When he saw the crowds

  1. Curious but not connected.
    1. Came from all over region and followed him, astonished at his teaching , marveled at his miracles, yet not attached to Jesus in any significant way.
    2. (Matt. 4:25) And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
  • (Matt. 7:28) And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
  1. (Matt. 9:33) And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled
  1. What Jesus understands about the crowds.

they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

  1. Abused by human religious leadership and therefore disenchanted with religious institution and God himself
    1. Ezekiel’s day (Ezek 34)Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep.——- I will come and shepherd them….
    2. Jesus’ day – (Matt. 23) Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3  so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
  2. Therefore Jesus came as the good shepherd who rescues one who is lost, who may perish if not rescued
    1. Jn.10:7-18 ” 7 ¶ So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.
    2. (Matt. 18:12-14) What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14  So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
  3. What Jesus feels about the crowds.

…he had compassion for them

  1. Warm compassion resulting in practical relief
  2. Splanchnizomai – warm and compassionate response to need; closest English words are kindness and pity
    1. To be moved in one’s bowels – the seed of tender affections to Jews; splanchna means bowels; bowels equals heart to Jews
    2. “His heart went out to them”
  3. Jesus feels not only sympathy, but responds in a practical way that meets the need
    1. (Matt. 14:14) When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
    2. (Matt. 15:32) ¶ Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. Give them something to eat.”
  • (Matt. 20:34) And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.
  1. Jesus’ practical response here is to send out disciples – verses 5ff
  1. How we should respond to the crowds.
    1. Recognize their behavior
      1. Identify today’s crowd by their activities – going from church to church, trying out other religions, expressing religious interest of some kind, writing about it, reading religious books, surfing religious websites.
    2. Understand their thinking
    3. Learn, discover what their real needs are, not just “they need Jesus,” but “they are let down by, disappointed by, disenchanted with religious leadership, the current state of the Christian community, hypocrites in the church” – first seek to understand, then seek to be understood (Covey).
    4. Care concretely.
      1. Help the needy. (Lk. 10:33) But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.
  • Welcome the wayward. (Lk.15:20) 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
  1. Forgive your debtors. (Matt. 18:27) And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
  1. Jesus goal – to move people from curious crowd to committed disciples.
    1. Sermon on the Mount, Mat 5
    2. 14: 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” 
    3. 15:8 ” By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

———————

Intro

-Jesus prepares his disciples before sending them out into mission

-Jesus models the passion we need to overcome our apathy toward the people who are the object of his mission

  1. How Jesus responds to the crowds
  1. What he sees: Curious_ but

 

Dis-connected_ from God

 

…when he saw the crowds

  • came from all over the region to follow him (Mat 4.24)
  • astonished at this teaching (Mat 7.28)
  • marveled at his miracles (Mt 9.33)
  • yet not attached to Jesus in any significant way
  • goal of Jesus’ evangelistic ministry – that curious crowds become committed disciples
  1. What he understands: Abused_and

 

Abandoned_ by religious leaders

 

…because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

 

  • feeding themselves instead of the sheep (Ezek 34)
  • have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bound up the wounded, sought for the lost (Ezek)
  • preach but do not practice (Mat 23)
  • lay heavy burdens but don’t lift a finger to help (Mat 23)
  1. What he feels: Warm Compassion_ resulting in

 

Practical Relief_.        

…he had compassion on them…

  • Splanchnizomai – to be moved in one’s bowels, the heart, seat of tender affection to Jews; “his heart went out to them”
  • Also responds in practical ways – heals the sick, gives them something to eat, seeks for the lost ones; as here – he sends out disciples into the harvest
  • Because the religious leaders – the human shepherds – failed to tend the sheep, God comes – Jesus comes – as the good shepherd to tend his flock
  • Jesus says “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mat 11.28-30)
  1. How we should respond to the crowds
  1. Recognize their Behavior

 

  • going from church to church following the latest fad, movement, teacher – disconnected
  • experimenting with other religions or spiritual experiences – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, New Age beliefs, the occult
  • reading about other religions – books, magazines, internet
  • writing or blogging about alternative religious experiences or thinking, including agnosticism, atheism.
  1. Understand their Thinking_.
  • Spend time with them to understand their real needs – not just “they don’t know Jesus”- like Jesus did:

Matthew’s friends in his home; Zacchaeus in his home; woman at the well; those he stopped along the road esp for healing

  • Discover their objections – hypocrites in the church, religious leaders who have fallen or abused their power and other people, theological issues like the problem of evil, personal disappointments like loss of a loved one at young age
  • Jesus did this with both Mary and Martha when Lazarus died; Paul did this with the philosophers on Mars Hill – he spoke their language in order to address their theological issue (Acts 17.28)
  1. Care Concretely

 

  • As Jesus did – feeding, healing, befriending according to their need
  • Two parables as examples of ways to care concretely –
  1. Help_ the Helpless_.

 

  • Good Samaritan (Lk 10.33-35) – A man fell among robbers and was beaten, lay beside the road. Religious leaders from his own nation passed him by, “but a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him…bound up his wounds…set him own his own animal…brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
  1. Welcome_ the Wayward_,

or Forgive_ the Fallen_.

 

  • Prodigal Son or Forgiving Father (Lk 15.15.20ff) The son had squandered his inheritance in loose living and decided to return to his father, “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him and brought him new clothing and celebrated his home-coming.

 

Goal of our ministry, like Jesus’:

– that curious crowds become committed disciples

– so we must repent of our apathy and put on Christ’s heart of compassion for them

–Sing Compassion Hymn

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