Focus Scripture: Matthew 14:13-17
He had compassion on them.
Such a simple sentence. Sometimes we go right past it.
Jesus was in mourning. His cousin, John the Baptist was killed, and so senselessly. Jesus needed to be alone. But the crowds wouldn't let him. They followed him even into his solitude.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever needed to be alone and someone just wouldn't let you be alone? I think every mother of a toddler knows that feeling. But so do many others. You are at the end of your rope. You know it. You recognize the symptoms. You're going to blow and so you withdraw. You lock yourself in the bathroom or you go for a walk or you escape into a book or a movie or whatever. And someone just won't let you. The toddler follows and pulls on your skirt, "mommy, mommy, mommy." Or a co-worker ignores the "Do Not Disturb" sign and knocks.
I don't know about you, but I don't always respond like Jesus. My first response is not always compassion. I've been known to "snap."
But not Jesus. Despite the interruption to his needed time to be alone, Jesus' response is compassion. In his compassion, Jesus reveals to us the nature of God. The promise to us is that the closer we grow to Jesus, the greater our walk, the more our response will approach that of Jesus. Jesus promised that he would give us his peace and that enables us to be able to have compassion even when we are, like Jesus, in need of solitude.