Summary: A sermon about giving what we have to God.
“There is More Than Enough”
Immediately before our Gospel Lesson for this morning, we are told that Jesus’ cousin, good friend, and trail blazer—John the Baptist—has been beheaded by Herod as a party favor for his daughter.
Right before verse 13—which is where I started reading for this morning—it says that John was buried. “Then [John’s disciples] went and told Jesus” about John’s murder.
It’s hard to imagine the grief that Jesus must have been feeling.
Many of us have had horrible news of a loved one’s death.
When it’s an untimely death, it’s even worse.
I have no idea what it would be like to hear of a loved one’s murder or execution.
Jesus is obviously shaken.
And we are told in verse 13 that “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.”
Jesus was in horrible grief, and He just wanted to be alone.
We have to understand that at this point in His ministry Jesus was extremely popular.
Thousands of people were following Him.
Everyone wanted a piece of Him.
Everyone wanted something from Him.
And that is exhausting.
It’s hard to hold up under those kinds of demands day in and day out.
But when you are grieving and sad—it’s nearly impossible to give that much of yourself for others.
So, Jesus’ earthly body needed a rest.
His inclination was to get away and grieve.
But we are told that, “the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.”
And when Jesus brought His boat to land… that “solitary place” He’d been seeking and dreaming of was so filled with people that it was like a basketball arena.
What would you do in a situation like that?
What would I do?
Scream and yell?
Get back in the boat?
Fall into an even greater depression?
What does Jesus experience?
Verse 14 tells us that upon seeing that huge crowd, the Son of God had “compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Jesus felt COMPASSION…
…not any of that!!!
And that sure is good news for us all!!!
The word compassion means: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
That is what Jesus experienced, even in His terrible grief and exhaustion, when He saw the crowds who so needed Him.
There are different ways of looking at situations.
We can react to the needs of others and their demand on our time and resources with frustration, indifference, anger—you name it.
It’s especially easy to get fed up with the problems of other people when their needs interrupt our plans and our wants.
But Jesus isn’t like that.
And that means that God isn’t like that.
God loves us THAT MUCH!!!
God cares for us THAT MUCH!!!
God is THAT unselfish and compassionate!!!
You know, Jesus really has something here, I think.
What I mean is, what would it be like if we were to react to the problems, interruptions and needs of others the way Jesus does?
Would it change our lives?
Would our lives take on new meaning?
Would it radically change our entire view of the world?
Would we become more optimistic and happy?
Would we too, become such lovers of humankind that we could hardly contain ourselves?
What if, instead of feeling exhausted when faced with the task of helping those in need, we felt energized?
How could we pull that off?
How could we get that far out of our selves and our own selfish desires?
Well, the answer is true Christian conversion.
What I’m talking about is a daily, minute by minute walk with Jesus—a life with Jesus—not just a quick prayer for fire-insurance purposes.
With our busy schedules, our computers, games, entertainment options and so forth it is very easy to forget about our walk with Christ, and instead just compartmentalize.
Sometimes I feel as if I just take Jesus out of my pocket, like a dusty old coin, when I suddenly need Him for something then I either put Him back in my pocket or in the box I have for Him on my bookshelf.
And then, in my day to day experience, He is tucked away and forgotten.
When I do that, I can get really, really caught up in what Ken wants to do…
…what Ken needs...
…with little to no thought of the needs and trials of others.
And when I live that way, Jesus does become like a toy or a slot machine or a candy dispenser rather than a daily friend, a LIVING GOD, and transformational entity Who resides in my heart and soul.
And when my Jesus is nothing but a pawn for my desires, I die…