MARK 8:1-2 – In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.”
THEME OF THE DAY: DO WE? How do we see people in the world? When we drive our vehicles through our neighborhoods, what thoughts do we have of our neighbors? What about the clerk ringing up our groceries? The mechanic servicing our vehicles? Bank teller at the drive-thru window? The police officer sitting in a car watching the traffic? Speaking of traffic, how do we see the people whizzing by us at a red light or on an interstate? People in our churches? Co-workers? Doctors? Accountants? I could go on and on but the point is made. How do we see people in our world, all people? As Christians, three ways, and only three ways.
First, all people are image-bearers of God – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27). Though all of humanity is totally depraved and incapable of being restored in relationship with God on their own, the truth of our creation remains. We are image-bearers so when we want to lash out at someone, even strangers acting out their sinful nature, stop and remember they are image-bearers. It will help us go a very long way in representing Christ to all people.
The other two ways we are to see people are in relationship to Jesus Christ and His Gospel; unbelievers and believers.
People outside of Christ, unbelievers, are to be viewed as sheep without a shepherd in need of coming to know the Good Shepherd Jesus – When Jesus went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things (Mark 6:34). Ask the Lord to let us see non-Christians as they are – hopelessly lost in need of Him, and then pray we become the vehicles to get the Gospel to them.
We now come to the third way to see people – believers in Christ who need to be encouraged in Christ. Do we know God commands us, not suggests to us, to be consistently encouraging His people? A clear command is given in the New Testament book of Hebrews – But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception (Hebrews 3:13). Obey this command daily, yes, daily, and we prevent a critical and sinful attitude to develop in us when we think of other Christians especially those who might just be a little difficult to deal with. By the way, we are probably difficult Christians to deal with to others as well.
So how do we view all people in these three lights – image-bearers, unbelievers, and believers? Today’s scripture – “I have compassion on the crowd.” Let’s earnestly ask the Lord Jesus to give us His eyesight and heart for all people. It will make all the difference in how we live the Christian life in treating the people all around us.
PRAYER: “Father, develop within me the eyesight and heart of Your Son in looking at the people all around me.”
QUOTE: “There is only one proper way to see and then treat people; as Jesus with a compassion that touches their lives.”
Because of Him,