By J.R. Miller
Every revealing of Christ, showed His sympathy with the weak and the wronged. That is not the way of the world in His day. The strong oppressed the weak. No provision was made for the feeble, the destitute. All that we see in the world today of pity, of sympathy--is the fruit of Christ's own life and teaching. All hospitals and refuges, all the vast work done now in institutions for the blind, the crippled, the insane, the aged, the orphaned--is the continuance of the gracious ministry of Jesus Himself begun nineteen hundred years ago.
The heart of Christ was ever sensitive to human distress. No cry of pain failed to awake sympathy in His loving heart. The people soon discovered this. They were not used to it in their teachers and rulers. But they soon learned that Jesus really cared for them, that He felt with them in their suffering and need--and that He would help them. Wherever He went, the sick were brought to Him, the blind, the demoniac--and no one was ever turned away unhealed.
But it was not only those with physical ills that found sympathy at the hands of Jesus. There are sorer needs than those of the body. An
Arctic explorer was asked whether, in their long experience of need, he and his companions had suffered greatly from the pangs of hunger. He answered that they forgot their hunger--in the sense of abandonment, in the feeling that their countrymen were making no effort to relieve them. The hardest thing the poor, the sick and the suffering of our Lord's time had to bear--was that nobody cared for them. But Jesus cared. He had pity on them because of their physical needs--but His compassion was stirred chiefly because He saw them as sheep that had no shepherd.
Wherever Jesus appeared, human distress found Him. There can be no truer picture of Him than one which represents Him in the midst of needy ones--all of whom look to Him for help. He was ever speaking gracious words which fell like heavenly music on the ears of those who heard them. Take one of His words for illustration: "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden--and I will give you rest." If Jesus had never spoken another word but that, He would have been the world's greatest benefactor. What millions have heard His call, and in Him have found blessed rest! Forever will that gracious word continue to be spoken to earth's weary ones, and forever will hungry hearts welcome it as offering all they need.