"Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a Shepherd." Matthew 9:36
You may be able to relate to the Jewish people during this time who were described as distressed and dispirited. They had lost their way due to oppression from the Roman empire. There was much sickness and disease. Many were hungry not only for food, but for the promised Messiah. As Jesus was going through all the cities and villages preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every kind of sickness and disease He was overcome with compassion. The origins of the words infer Jesus was "pulled apart from the inside." In the following verse He tells His disciples:
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." Matthew 9:37
I believe now is the time as disciples of Christ, and for us as His bride, to obey the great commission, and go make disciples of our Savior. The harvest has never been more plentiful, and I have never observed more distressed, dispirited sheep in my lifetime . Many are looking for the same thing the Jews were — the "True Shepherd" — the promised Messiah. They were blinded and swallowed up in despairing circumstances of life. Yet the Messiah was walking among them preaching words of life and healing them. God had provided the Messiah on time, but not according to their understanding. And it certainly wasn’t the way they expected anymore than how the birth of the prophesied Saviour happened, but it was exactly as foretold in His Word. God the Father never fails and He is always right — perfectly right.
We as His sheep need to bring ourselves in agreement with His words and do things His way. Then our lives will become much better along with everyone else’s. That is if we obey and follow Jesus’ example. When you are a worker of a harvest you get dirty and sweaty; you have to work. When Jesus asked Matthew, the tax collector to follow him, he immediately obeyed. As a result Jesus and His disciples were invited to dine with Mattthew and many more tax collectors and sinners which He did. The religious crowd was furious with Jesus and His disciples for reaching out to the greedy tax collector who was Jewish, but collaborated with the Roman authorities. His disciples were asked why He was doing such a thing? Jesus hearing responded:
It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick, but go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:12-13 Good News! We all qualify!
Let us unite our hearts with His, and get our lives in agreement with His Words that we might go to the lost sheep at this time with the good news there is a "True Shepherd" who will never leave or forsake us. He laid down His life for the sheep which enables us to be eternally safe in the fold. I end with His Words:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27-28
In His love.
I was delighted to get a work out on the slopes last week skiing at Winterplace in Ghent, WV.