He Was Moved With Compassion

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
" And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things." Mark 6:3434And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:34).—
IN a world of misery and want, how blessed to know One whose heart feels it all, as it were makes it His own, and whose emotions of pitying love are so expressed that we can know and see them: " He was moved with compassion." That blessed face plainly told of the throbbing of divine mercy that worked within. The heart expressed itself ere the hand moved to relieve what the eye looked upon. Nor was it a transient feeling, a passing emotion. Human misery has found a home in the heart of Jesus, and He, who is " the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever," albeit now on the throne of God in glory, is still " moved with compassion," as He looks out upon, and takes in, all the misery and want that plead incessantly, in accents of ever deepening intensity, at the throne of mercy.
If the Shepherd of Israel was moved with compassion as He looked upon the children of Abraham, " as sheep not having a shepherd," how deep must be the emotion with which the Lord Jesus now views the children of God again " scattered abroad "! What terrible havoc the " grievous wolves " have made in "the flock of God"! How the speakers of perverse things have led away " disciples after themselves"! What widespread division and offense have they wrought who "serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly"! Surely all this appeals with touching force to Him who " loved the church and gave himself for it."
But was it only that Jehovah's people were " as sheep not having a shepherd"? Had they not sinned themselves? Had their hearts been " right with him"? Had they been " steadfast in his covenant"? Full well He knew it was far otherwise; the long, sad history of that perverse and stiff-necked people was all before Him, "but He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity." (Psa. 78)
And has the church of the living God suffered only from false teachers and bad guides? Have the children of God a better history than the children of Israel? Have they been less perverse and stiff-necked? Have they altogether kept His word? And have their hearts been right with Him who redeemed them with His own blood? How well He knows that higher privileges and better promises have but brought out deeper sin, and, relatively, less response to His love! Surely every heart knows this. How sweet, then, in our day, to turn to Him whose " compassions fail not," and who "having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end"!
We do well to be at home with that deeply moved heart of pitying, forgiving love, as it " began to teach them many things." True enough, He now speaks from heaven, but that heaven is open to us, and distance there is none to faith.
Failure and ignorance are around us on every hand. Only rightly can we feel the one, and minister to the other, as we are really with Him who, above all evil, sees it all, only to find in it the occasion for the ministry of love.
They who would, in any little degree, serve the sheep of Christ in these last and closing days, need much to ponder these words, spoken to one of old, " execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother;" while, above all, much should they be in spirit with that "faithful and merciful high priest," who, Himself unencompassed by infirmity, yet touched with the feeling of ours, is "able to have compassion on the ignorant and out of the way."
" Most merciful High Priest,
Our Savior, Shepherd, Friend,
'Tis in Thy love alone we trust
Until the end."
C. W.