Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In compassion creation and trust, Jesus is the champion

I'm loving my slow mornings in Matthew. I was in 15:29-39 this morning.

No doubt Jesus was tired by this point. Not long had passed since the feeding of the five thousand men, He walking on water, clashing with the Pharisees and healing the Canaanite woman. In His humanity he probably wanted nothing more than to sit and pray quietly with His disciples. But sure enough word got out that Jesus was on the scene, that the Healer had shown up. 'Great crowds came to him'. Maybe hundreds, maybe thousands, but a large number. Did Jesus turn them away? No, He healed them. These people were Gentiles. Did He refuse them help? No, He healed them. Did He send them away hungry? No, He fed them. What a God to worship. What a challenge to us when we tire, when we need rest, when hope for time with our friends. Jesus had compassion on the outsider.

It is probably impossible that the disciples had forgotten that Jesus had just fed five thousand men. Their question in v33 must be read as a request for help. They give Jesus all they had, and He responded. Another great lesson of faith for the twelve. There was more food this time, perhaps more leftovers, but we mustn't reckon that Jesus power to create was limited be His resources. This was simply a lesson, a demonstration. What a lesson it was. Jesus is the champion in providing for those indeed here. Jesus could have done all this without the help of the twelve, but here again is amazing evidence of his use of fallen man to do His work. He could call those who will respond without the use of preaching, and yet preaching and preachers He uses. Here is the Lords grace to those who love Him and will serve Him. He has compassion on those in need, on those with no hope. He can be trusted with all we have, all the time.

After Jesus healing work, the Gentiles praised the God of Israel. This surely is to be the goal of all our work, be it explicit Gospel ministry or not. All our labours in the scripture are to show Jesus as mighty that people would worship. All our visits, all our long days, all our preaching, all our work where ever we are should be that people would worship. That was Jesus' goal here. That must be our goal always, that through us, amazingly though us people might hear and see what an incomparable treasure Jesus is, and worship Him with their whole lives.

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