By Rev. Eric Brown
“I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.” - Mark 8:2
The second oldest trick that Satan has is making us think that God will only love us if we do good things. As the oldest trick is making us think we know better than God, this puts us in a world of hurt. We sin, and then the accuser says, “Well, God's not going to like you very much anymore,” and we run and hide in shame, start blaming everyone else, and just end up quite miserable.
The crowd of people gathered around Jesus' Word was quite miserable. There had been a lot of preaching (a few days worth!) and not a lot of food. And they were hungry. And what is Jesus' reaction? When Jesus looks at the crowd, what does He see? Is He looking to judge their failings? Does He say, “man, that guy in the 5th row is going to mess up bad this week, forget him”? No. He sees the situation, the need – and thus He has compassion.
Compassion. Simply seeing people in need, Jesus has compassion. He shares in their suffering and is determined to do something about it. And then we get a miracle – the feeding of the 4000, not caused by what the crowd does. Jesus just feeds them – because He loves them, baggage and all.
As you go about your week, there will be times you foolishly mess up. It's going to happen – hopefully sin doesn't blow too many things up, but sin happens. And what Satan loves to do is tell you that once you've sinned, God is going to be pretty angry and upset with you – that God's going to be pitching a hissy fit now and ready to smite you.
Nope. Jesus has compassion upon you. That's the point. And if you aren't sure of that – you are baptized. St. Paul tells us that we who are baptized have been baptized into Christ's death and resurrection – you've been with Him three days in your Baptism, and because He rose on the third day, so will you. And He has compassion on you. Jesus doesn't like sin precisely because of what sin does to you, how it messes with you. And so He is quick always to have compassion upon you, to forgive you and renew you with His Word of forgiveness. Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.
Created: August 2nd, 2017