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“Helpless Sheep”

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Matthew 9:36 NLT

When Jesus likened the crowds of His world to sheep without a shepherd, I wonder if His mind went back to the day He created sheep, unique from all the other animals.

Jesus knew sheep are prone to wander, yet totally unaware of danger. He knew their winding paths can easily get them lost, with no means of protecting themselves. With flock mentality, Jesus knew they’d follow each other anywhere, even off a cliff!

Without a shepherd’s care, sheep don’t know where to find food, their wool becomes matted, dirty, and infected with parasites, and their hoofs become so hard they can’t walk. Without a shepherd’s oil, their wounds never heal.

If Jesus saw crowds like sheep, no wonder He had compassion. So what about the crowds that slow down my morning commute or flash across my news screen? What if crowd mentality is leading them toward a cliff? Do I simply allow those crowds to aggravate me, or do I ever consider the danger lurking on their winding paths?

Today I choose to ponder individual lives in those crowds. I wonder if they know where to find food for their souls. I wonder if they have anyone to wash their weary feet. I wonder who puts oil on their festering wounds.

Oh Jesus, teach me YOUR compassion for the crowds of MY world!


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