“He Has Compassion” (Matthew 14: 14, ESV) by Carley Evans

“When He comes ashore He sees a great crowd, and He has compassion on them and heals their sick.” (Matthew 14: 14)

He has withdrawn “to a place by Himself. But when the crowds hear it, they follow Him on foot from the towns.” (Matthew 14: 13)

Jesus is trying to find a desolate place to pray. When the crowds come from several towns, He abandons His original plan, turns back to heal the sick among them.

His disciples find Him at the end of the day, and ask Him to send the crowds away. The disciples think the people should go buy their own food in the nearby villages. But Jesus tells them to feed the crowd. The disciples are dumbfounded. They’ve only five loaves of bread and two fish.

Jesus has compassion on the great crowd; this time He feeds them.

So, on this single day, Jesus heals the sick among the crowd and feeds the people. “And they all ate and were satisfied.” (Matthew 14: 20)

Jesus does not heal this one but not that one; He does not feed this one and leave that one hungry. He heals every one of the crowd who is sick, and He feeds to satisfaction all the people gathered who are hungry.

The crowd follows in expectation. They hear of Jesus, and they want to find Him.

Jesus is aware of their needs. He is compassionate. He heals. He satisfies.