Now when Jesus heard it, He withdrew from there in a boat, to a lonely place by Himself; and when the multitudes heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13, 14. (NASB)

There was a limit to Jesus’ physical endurance, and he honored that limit. (See Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12.) Finding moments alone to renew himself must have been hard for Jesus! Demands on his physical strength and the stress he endured frequently had to be beyond measurement! Do you find it necessary to restore and refresh your energy when you have endured a period of difficulty? Does continual stress zap your energy? Since Jesus was flesh and blood just as you are, he reacted to pressures as do we.

Daily demands on Jesus were enormous! If you had the power to heal incurable sickness, can you imagine how many requests you would receive? If you could teach in the manner Jesus did, can you imagine how many people would follow? If you said, “No!” to someone who was counting on your help, can you imagine how the person would react? There was always just one more paralyzed person, just one more blind person, just one more lame person, etc., who needed help.

Some came to him for the wrong reason (John 6:15, 26). Some hated him and what he did and wished to discredit him (Mark 8:11). Some wished to do him harm (Mark 3:6; John 12:47-50). Jesus’ intent was to be God’s example of what to do and how to feel in everything. It was so demanding that there were times when Jesus could not go into populated areas—people expected too much (Mark 1:45)! Consider statements like Mark 2:1, 2; 3:20; Luke 4:42; and Luke 6:15, 16. Talk about living in a fish bowl!!! Jesus had no privacy! Someone always needed or wanted something!

Yet, even when he was tired, even when he genuinely needed to be alone, even when he dealt with stresses we have never known, he always cared about people. People—even his enemies (Matthew 22:15, 16)—knew he cared! One of the incredible things about Jesus was that he felt compassion for people, regardless of his needs.

Always remember he compassionately cares for you, too.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 December 2010

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