Matthew 9:36 (NLT)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

When Jesus saw the needs of the crowds that followed Him � He felt compassion for them. They were like sheep, which would wander away left unattended. They needed someone to guide them, love them and show compassion towards them.

There are two components of compassion - first a compassionate person feels a deep sympathy and sorrow for someone who is afflicted and second they have a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Jesus did both in the lives of people. Jesus felt compassion for their needs and did all He could possibly do to alleviate those needs. For the blind he gave them sight. For the lame He gave them the ability to walk. Those who were hungry, He fed them. Most of all Jesus gave them hope because He saw their sin and knew their need for redemption and offered eternal salvation in heaven.

You see we can feel sorrow for a person, but then we have a choice. We can either help the person or we can turn our backs and walk away. When we walk away we dismiss compassion and leave the person to fend for their own self. We leave them like sheep, confused and helpless with no one to guide them.

I have a friend whose brother went to a store in a small town frequented for its alcohol purchase. As the brother approached the door he had a sudden heart attack and dropped down by the door. For a long period of time people passed by thinking he was like many of the other patrons � a heavy drinker who let their alcohol get out of hand. NO ONE showed any compassion towards him to check to see what his problem might be. NO ONE called an ambulance. It was a long time before anyone did anything. By the time anyone did anything the man had passed away. Where was compassion when it was needed?

In our daily lives we need to be like Jesus showing compassion to others. When we are helpless and confused we need to accept the compassion of others and allow Jesus to work through them. I pray each of us would have a compassionate heart and reach out to those in need. Lord may we all learn to be like you showing compassion for the confused and helpless. For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. Now that is compassion.