Notice that first phrase, “Seeing the people…” Consider what this means and try to put yourself in that moment using your imagination. He actually saw those people that day in all their narliness and humanity. It sounds like He looked at them with the eyes of His heart. Remember, to have compassion means to be in the pain with someone, to feel what they feel and take some kind of action.
All those people around him that day who were aimless and searching in their distress without honest leadership. He saw them in their trouble, He saw them in their sickness, and He did not look away. He saw the gravity of the situation and He chose to stay present! I can imagine Him sifting through His feelings in that moment. Perhaps feelings of inadequacy at being one person amidst so much need, or perhaps deep sadness at what he witnessed, or perhaps an energy to do something, anything, that might alleviate their pain.
No one would have blamed Jesus if He chose to walk away that day. It was a lot to hold and a lot to see. But the Lord did not walk away, the Lord stayed with them and took action to make a difference in their lives that day. The compassion of God moved Jesus to teach, help, encourage, heal and stay present.
Over and again in the scripture we hear how compassion moves someone, or God through someone, to act, and to feel, on behalf those around them in any given moment. Touched with their feelings. Moved by them. This is the nature of Love, the nature of God, to stay present and to take action. It’s a beautiful thing. And it’s a hard thing.
Compassionate God, let me feel your Spirit within me in moments of great need. Help me know my part and help me know what is not my part. Help me be willing to be moved by You. I seek your guidance and the wisdom to discern the role I play in my relationships with your compassion. Let your compassion fill me with relationship salve that will heal what ails us.