Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Genesis 10:1-14 and Matthew 14:1-21.

Matthew 14:14 “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

 We often read about Jesus healing crowds of people in the Gospels, but today’s highlighted verse takes place at a deeply emotional time for Christ. He has just heard that His cousin John had been beheaded by Herod, which causes Jesus to go and find a solitary place. He wants to be alone to deal with His grief because the pain He must have felt must have impacted Him. It was a time to get away from the world and reflect upon where His future lay. It was a time to be alone, in order to weep and grieve the loss of family.

But even in the midst of seeking to be isolated, the crowd clamor to find Him. There are still people to heal, sicknesses to cure, and demons to cast out. The people need Jesus to do something for them and want Him to fix their problems now. When Christ saw them, He could have been angry with them for breaking His time of grief; instead, as Matthew clearly states it, ‘He had compassion on them and healed their sick.’

 I don’t know about you, but Jesus’ response deeply affects me. It tells me that He always has time to help His people and that He is willing to hear our prayers, complaints, and issues, no matter how long they take or how often we approach Him. Christ’s compassion confirms my faith in Him. He knows who I am and understands what I need. He helps me when I’m down and He lifts me up when I most need Him.

 Perhaps you’re going through a difficult time or someone you know is having some serious problems. Please understand this: when you come to Christ directly, He hears your prayers and holds you in His compassionate, healing hands. Be embraced with His goodness today and be encouraged by His love.

 Point to ponder

 What issues am I struggling with today? Am I willing to bring them to Jesus in my prayers?

 Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your compassion and mercy, forgiveness and grace. Be with us throughout this day and grant us Your guidance and love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

 Today’s image is one of John’s winter drawings called ‘Winter Has Come.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.