So they went away in a boat by themselves to a solitary place.
I. How IT WAS CALLED FORTH.
1. The physical exhaustion and hunger of the people.
2. Their restlessness.
3. Their inarticulate longing for some higher truth and life.
II. THE CHARACTER IT ASSUMED. Shepherdly anxiety and care.
1. An intense compassion and solicitude.
3. A practical undertaking of their care.
III. HOW IT EXPRESSED ITSELF. He taught them many things. By word and act he strove to lift their hearts to God, and to suggest the ineffable mysteries of his kingdom. The miracle that followed. - M.
And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion.I. THE PEOPLE.
1. The people saw Him.
2. They knew Him.
3. They ran afoot thither.
4. They outran and reached Him.
II. THE LORD.
1. He came.
2. He saw.
3. He pitied.
4. He taught.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
Scottish Pulpit.I. THE COMPASSION OF JESUS CHRIST. Compassion is a branch or modification of kindness of heart, or of benevolence. Under the influence of it we enter into the circumstances and feelings of others; prompted to aid and relieve them. The term "compassion" signifies to sympathize, or to suffer along with others; and, therefore, while it is a most lovely affection, and the exercise of it yields the purest delight on the one hand; yet, on the other, it is always attended with uneasy feelings and painful sensations, and that in exact proportion to the strength of our compassion. Hence you will see, that when compassion is ascribed in Scripture, as it often is, to God, it must differ in some essential points from human compassion. We are compound beings, having not only bodies, but rational souls; and possessing not only the powers of understanding, will, and conscience, but instincts, affections, or passions. But "God is a Spirit" a simple uncompounded being. In Him there is no such thing as passion; and, consequently, no uneasy feelings or painful sensations can attend the exercise of compassion in Him. It is the benevolent and ready tendency o! His gracious nature to pity and relieve the miserable, when this is consistent with His sovereign and wise pleasure. "I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." This ready and benevolent tendency of nature, to pity and relieve the miserable, was one of the brightest and loveliest features in the character of the Saviour; and, from eternity, and as He was a Divine person, it was exactly the same in Him as in the other persons of the adorable Trinity. But in the person of Jesus Christ are now closely united both the Divine and human natures; and, thus, when He was in this world, in the form of a servant, and acting and suffering in our stead, compassion in Him partook of the nature and properties both of Divine and human compassion. He possessed not only the perfections of Godhead, but the sinless feelings and affections of manhood. "In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God." In His present state of glory, He wears our nature, and will do so forever; and He is said to be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," yet, as His humbled suffering state is completely at an end, He is really and tenderly, though not painfully, impressed with our weaknesses, sorrows, and dangers. But the case was widely different with Him while in this world. It was then a part of His humbled suffering state to take our infirmities on Him, to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. In His human nature, He felt our sorrows and wretchedness as far as His sinless and unsinning nature could feel them. He was then literally "moved with compassion." He felt as a shepherd does for his straying sheep; as a compassionate man for suffering humanity; as the incarnate Son of God, in the character of Redeemer, for perishing sinners. "And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things."
II. I SHALL SPEAK OF THE OBJECTS OF THE SAVIOUR'S COMPASSION: —
1. Sinners of the human race were the objects of His Divine and eternal compassion. In common with the Father and Spirit, "He remembered us in our low estate; for His mercy endureth forever." His compassion was not of the sentimental speculative kind, which leads many to say to the naked and destitute, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;" but to do no more. No. It was real, deep, operative. He pitied sinners, "and so He was their Saviour," and did and suffered all that infinite wisdom and justice saw to be necessary to procure eternal redemption for them.
2. During the time the Saviour was in this world, the condition of sinners daily moved His compassion. When He saw the widow of Nain following the bier of her only son to the grave, "He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not."
3. All His people, even the best and holiest in this world, are the objects of His compassion. All need it. "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect." "For in many things we offend all."
4. The weak, the timid and doubting, are peculiarly the objects of His compassion — who are weak in the faith, who are of a fearful mind, who are harassed with temptations, and borne down with poverty and oppression, vexations and bereavements.Application:
1. Do you wish to have objects of compassion presented to your view? Think of the heathen.
2. This subject reads an important lesson to all ministers of the gospel We should be imitators of the compassion of Christ.
3. Will sinners have no compassion on themselves?
4. Let weak and timid Christians be encouraged, We have set before you the compassionate Saviour. Put your case into His hands. Trust in His compassion.
(T. T. Munger.)en rapport with their surroundings, and so unmindful of their apparent misery. This may be so, but even if the wind is thus tempered to these shorn lambs of adversity, it is no occasion for withholding pity. Nay! the pity should be all the deeper. The real misery here is, that these poor beings do not look upon their wretched condition with horror and disgust, that they are without that sense and standard of life which would lead them to cry, "This is intolerable; I must escape from it." Hence, the discerning Christ-like eye will look through all such low contentedness to the abject spirit behind it, and there extend its pity. Not those who suffer most, but oftener those who suffer least, are the most pitiable.
(T. T. Munger.)
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