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Faithlife

Compassion Happens

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SBS: Report on this year’s VBS. Ventriloquist with a sore throat.

He was one of the greatest preachers that the world has ever known, and yet at times he was so taken with depression that he could not get out of bed.  His name was Charles Spurgeon and he devoted a chapter (“The Minister’s Fainting Fits”) about ministerial depression in his Lectures to My Students. He said I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts thereon, that young men might not fancy that some strange thing had happened to them when they become for a season possessed by melancholy.

What should we do? Be not dismayed by soul-trouble. Count it no strange thing, but a part of ordinary ministerial experience.… Cast the burden of the present, along with the sin of the past and the fear of the future, upon the Lord, who forsaketh not His saints. Live by the day—aye, by the hour. Put no trust in frames and feelings.… Continue with double earnestness to serve the Lord when no visible result is before you.

Come fair or come foul, the pulpit is our watchtower and the ministry our warfare; be it ours, when we cannot see the face of our God, to trust under the shadow of His wings

In today’s passage we see Jesus, not depressed, but certainly in need of some time by himself.  Remember that two weeks ago we looked at the passage before this and the cousin, friend, and forerunner of Jesus, J/B had been murdered.  Jesus wanted to be by himself.  The text tells us that he did three things to be by himself.  He gets into a boat, he departs to a deserted place, and he goes by himself.  Yet as soon as Jesus steps off the boat a great crowd of people are there who have rushed around the lake to meet him.  Notice what the text says in v. 14  “Jesus was moved with compassion.”  That word compassion is the key word to this entire story of the feeding of the 5,000.  This word is only used either about Jesus or by Jesus about characters in his parables.  The father of the prodigal son has compassion; the Good Samaritan has compassion; Jesus has compassion.

EVERY ONE OF US OUGHT TO HAVE COMPASSION. WE KNOW WE HAVE IT BECAUSE IT AFFECTS OUR LIVES.

How did compassion affect Jesus’ life?

  1. COMPASSION CHANGES DIRECTION.  V. 14A
    1. The preferred direction was to be alone.  Those of you that are introverts know this.
    2. The proper direction was to be surrounded.  Me in fellowship hall, I know that I have offended some of you and I apologize. 
  2. COMPASION CHANGES DESIRE. V. 14B
    1. The desire was to recharge and not to heal.  There is nothing wrong with recharging, it is needed, but at the right time.

Mary had a little lamb,

’Twas given her to keep,

But then it joined the local Church,

And died for lack of sleep!

    1. The demand was to heal and not recharge.  Word for sick is literally “powerless”  We must help the powerless find out where real power is GOSPEL
  1. COMPASION CHANGES DEMANDS.  VV. 15-16
    1. Contrast the disciples and the Lord’s demand.  The you in Jesus’ statement is emphatic. #. Look at the results of this demand once it is followed. They sat down to a banquet.  The word for sit down in v. 19 is to recline at table; all the people are fed-5,000 men and who knows how many women and children; they were totally full or completely satisfied. V. 20

Princess Bride.  Buttercup grows up fairly wealthy and there is a farmboy who at first is identified only as farmboy.  Buttercup orders him around with things like “farmboy get me some water” and “Farmboy get me some food.”  Farmboy always answers with words that are sort of a through line in the movie; they are at the start and the end of the film.  When Buttercup orders something, Westly, which is Farmboy’s real name, says “As you wish.”

Genuine Godly compassion in our lives will cause us to say to God not “as I wish” but “As you wish.”  Let it be true when God asks you to change your direction, when God leads you to change your desires, when God places on you difficult demands, let us all answer “as you wish my Lord.” For that is a truly happy ending.

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