Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV)
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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
We live in a society that puts an emphasis on the individual, as we are constantly bombarded with messages about taking care of ourselves first. The “world” tells us that it’s perfectly fine to put our own desires and wishes ahead of meeting the needs of others. As believers in Christ, we must follow the example given by Jesus of being compassionate towards those in our midst who are “harassed and helpless.” We must make every effort, as followers of Christ, to find ways to show compassion to those in our community who so desperately need physical and spiritual healing.
Throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus had compassion on all kinds of people. He healed the sick and those that were demon-possessed. Jesus had compassion on sinners and all sorts of social outcasts. He didn’t spend his time around the religious elite or powerful government officials or movie stars. Our Lord and Savior spend time with those who were lost and living in darkness. He spent time teaching, healing, and showing compassion to the “least” of society. He actually spend time talking with and listening to those whom society ignored.
That is the ministry model that Christ calls us to follow today. We can have a beautiful sanctuary in which to worship and we can have attractive buildings in which to have Sunday school and many other activities. But if we are not living out our faith and our calling by helping those in need and showing compassion to those that society has cast aside, then we are not truly living out our calling in Christ.
On the Day of Judgment we will not be asked how many church buildings we helped build or how much money we raised for the church budget. Rather, we will be held accountable for what we did for the least of our brothers and sisters who are homeless, hungry, living in darkness, sick or in prison, or who simply do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus gave us a ministry model to follow. We are to show compassion to one another and to be aware of and care for the needs of others. We are called to see others the way Christ sees them. And in doing so, we can be a great witness to the free gift of salvation offered through belief in Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior.