Encounters with Jesus
Matthew 9:35 says, "And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction." As He went, He did a lot of ministry. More importantly, verse 36 shows us how He saw us, like sheep without a shepherd. Sheep are dependent on their shepherd. They need the shepherd for everything!
It is so comforting in times like these to know that JESUS SEES US. You may feel invisible, but He sees you. When He sees you, He knows you - your fears of isolation, unemployment, scarcity, loss of spending time with friends...all of it. In Genesis 16, we see the story of Abram, Sarai, and Hagar. When Hagar flees, God meets with her. She says, "You are a God of seeing", which is El Roi.
Jesus had compassion on them in the seeing. He will suffer with you. He suffered to the point of death for you. Then He says, "I will never leave you or forsake you". He is there.
Psalm 23 is a Psalm of the Bedouin shepherd. It is full of images of hospitality and shepherding. At one point, the shepherd must lead the sheep through "the valley of the shadow of death". Fortunately then, and now, He walks through this TEMPORARY season with us.
In Matthew 9:37-38, the disciples are called to pray earnestly for the harvest. In the midst of tragedy, God moves in powerful ways! It begins with prayer. PRAY!
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."