(Caught up by this afternoon!)
Genesis 31-32 Matthew 9:18-38
“When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them because they were hurting and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NCV)
Wherever Jesus went, He preached the good news of the kingdom of God and He healed people of various diseases. The crowds flocked to Him. As they crowded around Him, He realized how much they were hurting, and how little help they had from the religious leaders. Instead of being God’s shepherds, they fancied themselves to be God’s judges, meant to condemn any who strayed off the path. Instead of seeking God for support, they saw these religious leaders and felt harassed and hated by God. They flocked to Jesus not just for the healing, but for His caring and love.
I know people who have had bad experiences with people claiming to be Christians. They felt judged and hated, and were abused by these leaders. It saddens me when I hear their stories. I’m reminded of the responsibility I have to show God’s love to these people especially. And I must show God’s love to all people. I’m called to love the oppressed; those broken down by political and religious leaders who judge and attack people not like them. And I’m called to love the oppressor, for those who engage in oppression have no understanding of God’s love. To be honest, there are times that I hate God’s call on my life to love all people, and yet love them I must if I’m going to be obedient to a loving God.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.