35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
People who live separated from God are like sheep without a shepherd. Lost, hungry, thirsty, in danger, etc. And as Jesus traveled around and encountered people, He saw their needs. But He didn’t just see their needs, He cared for their needs. And He didn’t just care for their needs, but He cared for them. He cared for their souls. Matthew 9 says that He was moved with compassion. Jesus felt for them. His heart went out to them. The word used for ‘moved with compassion’ is the Greek word splagchnistheis. It is the strongest word for pity in the Greek language. This is the kind of love and compassion that led Jesus to the cross. This is the kind of love and compassion that He has for us! And He calls us to live out that same compassion. He calls us to see the greatness of human need around us, which is plentiful. We are to be laborers of His love and in His love. So a couple questions for us: Are we praying daily to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers? Are we willing to go ourselves? Are we moved by compassion for the lost who need the Shepherd? Who in your life needs the Shepherd?