13 When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick.
One of the things that was evident when Jesus walked the face of this earth is the spiritual hunger that the people had. Everywhere He went people followed him, to hear him and also to see the miracles that he would perform. Before the famous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus saw the large crowd and He had compassion for them and He went on to minister to them healing those who were sick. Compassion drew him to the multitudes.
In simple terms, compassion is to feel another person’s pain, misfortune and suffering. When you read the gospels time and time again you will see the phrase “and He was moved with compassion” when talking about Jesus. You never read that about the Pharisees because their ministry was all about showing how holy and better they were than the ordinary folks.
Even today if we are careful to be observant, the multitudes are still hungry. Hungry for a connection with God and many of them do not realize it and that is why they are busy chasing one thing after another trying to fill the void in their life only God can fill. Unless we are moved with compassion we will never do anything about it. If our ministry is all about us and trying to show off how better we are than others and how blessed we are just like the Pharisees, then we will never be moved with compassion to reach out to the hungry multitudes. Like Jesus we have to be selfless and allow ourselves to see the need and feel the pain of others then God will use us to bring about healing and restoration to their lives.
Not only was the multitude hungry spiritually, they were also hungry physically and Jesus took care of both hungers. Their Spiritual hunger was stronger than their physical hunger and they were willing to hang around Jesus for long hours because they recognized their need and they knew Jesus could meet it. Their observation and interaction with the ministry of Jesus drew out the spiritual hunger in them.
The multitudes are still hungry and God is looking for someone who will be moved with compassion to go out and meet their need, are you willing to that person?