14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
After reading 13 verses, we pause and hover over just one. We are about to read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. We tend to get excited in this transition between the story of John the Baptist getting beheaded and Jesus feeding the multitude that we don’t pay much attention to this simple verse that is a very important part of the transition. Jesus was actually trying to get away from the crowds, which is why He got on a boat to withdraw to a secluded place. Most likely it was to pray, meditate, and collect His thoughts about what to do next and the crowd ran around the lake to meet Him on the other side. This is how bad they wanted to be near Him. They wouldn’t leave Him alone. They needed Him. They recognized their depravity (in whatever form that might have been) and sought Him out. As a result, He recognized their need, had compassion upon them, and healed them.
Unfortunately, we usually skip over this part and move onto the miracle of multiplying the bread and fish (which actually, wasn’t the big miracle, but we will look at that next time). Jesus didn’t divide this group into believers and non-believers. He didn’t preach them a lesson or make them say a prayer. He saw their desire and trust in Him to be able to bring them relief and He followed through with it. We tend to over dramatize God’s healing and make it into a prolonged equation when in reality, we just have to seek Him our for it.
What are you conflicted with? Do you suffer from a breaking or broken relationship? Seek God’s healing. Do you suffer from a physical ailment? Seek God’s healing. Does your heart ache emotionally? Seek God’s healing. Regardless of what image of God we have been given through our past, He will have compassion upon you and heal you. You just have to trust Him for it. You have to recognize that this simple sentence of Jesus looking for a moment of solitude and having compassion upon the people is the very same God you pray to today. Maybe you don’t pray to Him and you should. Just ask Him for help. Seek out His guidance and strength in your life, whatever may be hurting you right now.