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The Compassion of the Christ

The Compassion of the Christ

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"Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and saith unto
them, I have compassion on the multitude." S. MARK.
viii. i, 2.

"Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and saith unto
them, I have compassion on the multitude." S. MARK.
viii. i, 2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GEORGE HOWARD WILKINSON, D.D."Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and saith untothem, I have compassion on the multitude." S. MARK.viii. i, 2.SO, my brethren, spake the CHRIST ; so wrote theHOLY SPIRIT ; short, simple words, " I havecompassion " ; pregnant with strength and with comfortfor the toiling and heaving crowds of each succeedingage. There was nothing attractive then, even as thereis nothing attractive now, in an Eastern crowd. Themotive power of the miracle was the eternal love of GOD manifest in the flesh. JESUS, because He was theSaviour JESUS, because He was GOD "called Hisdisciples unto Him, and saith unto them, I havecompassion on the multitude."Observe how CHRIST takes the disciples into Hisconfidence. Then, as now, He demanded with a tenderurgency the sympathy of His people. " Surely theLORD GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth Hissecret unto His servants the prophets." That was theglorious promise of the Old Covenant. But the promiseof the New Dispensation exceeds in glory : " I call younot servants," said the CHRIST, "for the servant knowethnot what his lord doeth ; but I have called you friends,for all things that I have heard of My FATHER I havemade known unto you."THE COMPASSION OF THE CHRIST 39In the invisible glory the LORD GOD is waitingtill His Church on earth is stirred to face the burningquestions at home on which her future depends ; tillshe is stirred to grapple with the great work of ForeignMissions ; till her eyes are opened to see brighterthan the glitter of any earthly amusement, howeverinnocent ; grander than any scheme of self-culture,however elevated ; nobler than the crown of any earthlyprofession, however distinguished the joy and gloryof the man or the woman or the child who, withungrudging hand, lays time and wealth and life at thefeet of the world s Redeemer, and rises up, in harmonywith the King, the King of kings and the LORD of lords, to accomplish the work for which His Blood wasshed on Calvary.Yes, my brethren, though the battle is raging onevery side, though the triumph-song of the alien hostsis pealing from the city of our GOD, still the Captain of our salvation is waiting ; waiting there behind the veil,waiting in the royal tent. Though the very citadel of 
His kingdom may seem already in the hand of thefoe, He is waiting. For without the co-operation of those who have been baptized into the holy army, andsigned with the sign of the holy Cross, He will notbring out His power, to crush His adversaries and toestablish His kingdom. Therefore it is that we seenot yet all things put beneath His feet ; because Heis waiting, till by His Church s hand the enemy hasbeen subdued." JESUS called His disciples unto Him, and saith untothem, I have compassion on the multitude, because theyhave now been with Me three days, and have nothingto eat." Observe the tender, condescending attentionto detail ; hour by hour the little store gradually failing ;the perplexity creeping over them as to the future.40 THE MESSAGE OF TEACE" They have nothing to eat ; they have been with Methree days ; I have compassion."Very feeble is the faith ; very poor oh, there issuch comfort in that ! very poor is the response of those earth-bound disciples. " Whence can a mansatisfy these men with bread, here in the wilderness ? "Dry is the desert sand ; hard and rugged are the stonyrocks ; cold and cheerless in the far-off distance are thesnow-capped heights of Hermon : " Whence can a mansatisfy these men with bread, here in the wilderness ? "Gently He strengthens their faith ; patiently thegreat Teacher develops their slowly-dawning intelligence." He will not break the bruised reed, or quench thesmoking flax." He will not dispense with their help.He will not deprive them of the new teaching that theywill gain from co-operating with His divine wisdom.He will not deny to Himself, in His great heart of love, the joy of their co-operation. " How many loaveshave ye ? Go and see ! "My brethren, very often have you and I read thisold story of the feeding of the five thousand. To eyesthat have been closed by the god of this world, howutterly wearying are the oft-read details ! And yet, forminds enlightened by the HOLY GHOST, what storesof instruction do they contain ! To hearts that arewarmed with heavenly fire, how unspeakably tender isthe echo of their every word !On through all the long ages the pilgrim Churchhas been trying, however imperfectly, to follow in thesteps of this JESUS of Nazareth, feeding the thousandsin the desert. We say our grace before we eat ourdaily food, because JESUS our LORD " gave thanks." Wefeed the hungry, we seek the outcast, we strive to
satisfy each empty soul, we show mercy even to theunthankful and to the evil, because He, our King, setTHE COMPASSION OF THS CHRIST 41us an example ; because He gave us, by word anddeed, the new commandment, " Love one another "not according to the old standard of bygone days, but" as I have loved you." We consecrate the Bread atthat holy table, because He blessed and brake it ; yea,brethren, rather ought I to say, because He Himself invisibly, but surely present, is now breaking the bread,is now blessing it, is now giving it into our hands,to set before the poor, broken-hearted, struggling, temptedchildren of Adam that throng the holy courts, Sundayafter Sunday.Yes, my brethren, amid all the perplexities of ournineteenth century entanglements, amid all the heritageof past neglect, and the burden of present unbelief,and the forecast of coming evil pressing down our souls ;amid all the sins and the sorrow, all the disturbingelements of a fallen humanity ; when even brave menare tempted to lie down, helpless and hopeless, likechildren that have lost their way in some lonely wood,with the wind roaring, and the rain pattering downupon the withered leaves ; when heart and flesh arefailing, when the -very life-blood seems dried up, andnothing seems left but the cold inanimate body thatonce was kindled with a living spirit ; amid all thisdespair, this utter hopelessness, in Church and State,this dread of touching the fabric, lest it crumble aroundus, we can lift up our hearts, " with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven." In thepower of the endless life, we can see the gleams of lightfrom that crystal sea ; we can hear (as truly as thosecrowds heard it in the wilderness) the voice of theEternal, the Omniscient, the Unchangeable CHRIST, " Ihave compassion on the multitude ; come unto Me ;him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out ;tired in body, perplexed in mind, crushed in spirit, come42 THE MESSAGE OF TEACEunto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, andI will give you rest."To many of you, I know, such words as these can asyet have no meaning. There is something glorious inyour position now. There is something grand in watching (as it were) the life-blood circling through yourveins ; in seeing you in all the freshness and brightnessof early life. You do not yet know what is meant bya " desert place." You know nothing yet of the

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