Tuesday, January 26, 2016


By Jim Garner
Quote: “Remember that even Jesus’ most scathing denunciation – a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew 23 – ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did.”    - John MacArthur
Our Heavenly Father in all his creative genius has blessed us with some amazing views to enjoy in this world. These snapshots can give us pleasure, lead us to reflect, challenge us to imagine, fill us with a sense of awe, or simply flood us with all of the aforementioned. A favorite view of mine is when I can gaze across a sea of shining lights in the midst of darkness. Some examples include: landing in an airplane through the clouds and looking at thousands upon thousands of lights scattered for miles across the Metroplex or driving outside the city lights in the countryside and gazing up into the heavens on a clear night to see the endless stars shining brightly above us.
The endless lights lead me to reflect on eternity and to consider the destiny of countless numbers of people who inhabit this planet. I wonder in each light or star about people, and if they have had a personal encounter with Almighty God to become His follower? There are so many out there (over 7 billion people live on planet Earth) and I ponder Has anyone told them about Jesus. Will it be a missionary, pastor, or neighbor? Will it be you or me?
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to go to India with Caleb and a few graduates on a short-term mission trip. On the way there we changed planes in London and had several hours to enjoy sightseeing famous tourist sites. I was amazed at how many people were there in this extremely large city and the crowds as we moved about on the train and walking in the streets. But then my mind was blown the next day when we got to Mumbai, the largest city in India, and saw people that seemed more numerous than any sea of stars in the nighttime sky or lights at night scattered across the largest American cities. There were people everywhere – and I mean that literally. Did I say there were lots of people? Everywhere?
It was exhilarating and challenging at the same time to be in the crowds whether we were walking down the streets or riding a train to our next mission project packed like sardines. But at times, as I felt myself gasping for air pressed against other people or sweating profusely in the crowds, I began to sense there was something spiritual here. There was a point to the madness of these crowds.
“Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:35-36)

In that moment, just as I had experienced gazing into the skies or looking at the bright lights of a city, there were endless amounts of people that needed the same Jesus I have been blessed to experience for much of my life. These people made up a crowd that Jesus cared about just as he did in this passage when he was traveling and ministering. Jesus easily could have missed the crowds due to his busyness of travel, teaching, preaching, and healing every day. But he didn’t and we shouldn’t either. He saw them and felt compassion because they were in need, helpless like sheep without a shepherd, the Bible says.
There are individual people making up these crowds that the Lord wants us to see and hear with compassion that leads to action. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few people crowded onto an elevator, hundreds more riding a subway, or at a stadium like “Jerry’s World” in Arlington. Jesus cares about each one of the “crowd” and desires for us to see them the same way he did – with compassion.

Christ wept over Jerusalem and He weeps over the “crowds” of lost people today that we walk or sit by. May we learn to see them as He does and meet needs around us like never before.

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