As an American living in Iraq it’s easy for me to look at crowds of Kurdish people and study them. I try to figure out what they’re doing and why. I often try to eavesdrop on Kurdish conversations and see how much I can understand. I look at the women’s clothes and notice styles and trends. Sometimes, when I’m with other foreigners, I even make fun of Kurdish people.
When Jesus saw crowds of people, how did He look at them? According to Matthew 9:35-38, He looked at them and saw their needs. He saw that they needed healing, so He healed them. He saw that they needed teaching, so He taught them. But what was their greatest need? They needed a shepherd. So He became that shepherd for them, ultimately bringing them what they needed most: salvation.
It’s so easy for me to think about my own needs, rather than the needs of others. Lord, teach me to look at others with compassion. When I do notice others’ needs, I don’t always think of what I personally could do to help them. “Jesus, please show me how I can be a help to those around me. Many times I focus on peoples’ outward needs rather than their inner need for Christ. Father, help me to see that their deepest need is for You. As You work in me Father, to make me more like Yourself, please raise up others who will join me in helping these people find You.”
Becca, Watkinsville Missionary to Iraq