“Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (Matt. 9:35-38).
Jesus looked at the crowd and was moved with compassion. I heard a pastor say that the word carries the idea of being kicked in the gut. In other words, it wasn’t a shallow “I feel sorry for you” sentiment, but a real gut-wrenching pain over the people who were “confused and aimless.”
When was the last time my heart broke over something like that? When ever did my heart break like that?
Then I think that Jesus’ heart broke over me. In those times when I feel like I don’t have a clue, I think maybe it still does. I believe Jesus is moved with compassion over those of us who lose our way and feel like we or what we do don’t matter.
I truly believe that Jesus knows more than anyone what it’s like to have a broken heart. Not just figuratively, but literally. When the spear pierced His side, blood and water rushed out. That meant that Jesus’ heart had exploded. So yes, Jesus knows the pain of a broken heart.
My prayer is for a heart like His. My prayer is for a heart that really and truly breaks over those around me who are confused and aimless and without hope. I want a broken heart that leads me to my knees in prayer for the people in my immediate circle who are lost and hopeless and completely discouraged.
As always, I believe. Help my unbelief.