I love Jesus’ heart for the lost that we see in the following verses.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for 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 laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
As Jesus and his disciples were travelling through the towns and villages, he saw the crowds of people and he felt compassion for them. I don’t know about you, but if I’m being honest, the first thing I feel for people that I see when I’m out and about is usually not compassion. Many times when I see people I don’t know, I have a tendency to judge them. I see how they look on the outside, I see their circumstances and then I usually rush to judgement about why they look the way they do and why they are in the situation they are in. I don’t know who all will read this, but I have a hunch that you are a lot like me. We all could use some heart change in this area.
It is no secret that our church is in the heart of Kenmore. It is also no secret that Kenmore is a struggling community with many struggling people. When I read about Jesus feeling compassion for the crowds, I picture him walking down the streets of our neighborhood. I wonder what that would be like?
What would Jesus say about the homeless man on the corner who looks like he hasn’t showered in a month? I doubt he would say, “Why doesn’t he just get a job?”
What would Jesus feel for the woman walking down the sidewalk who is struggling with addiction? I doubt he would feel disgust at the sight of her.
Jesus would feel compassion for them. His heart would break for them.
Then Jesus would look at his disciples (you and me) and he would tell us that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few and to pray earnestly that God the Father would send more harvesters into the streets of Kenmore.
You see, I don’t think it’s an accident that our church is in the heart of Kenmore. I believe God has us right where he wants us to be. You and I are a light for the Kenmore community.
Do you see yourself as a light in Kenmore?
When you drive to and from church how do you feel about the people you see?
Are you sickened? Are you frustrated? Are you afraid? Or… are you heartbroken?
If you don’t yet have the heart of Jesus for Kenmore, maybe it’s time to ask God to give you the heart of Jesus for the lost all around us. Maybe we should stop seeing our community as the problem and begin seeing our community as our calling.