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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                     Moved By Compassion (9:35-38)


1. A major problem regarding evangelism today is the lack of 
   a. Many Christians seem to lack the motivation to teach others
      1) Years go by, and little is done to share the gospel
      2) Rather than being troubled by this fact, many just attain a
         state of complacency
   b. Yet motivation is "the steam that drives the train"
      1) With proper motivation, a Christian will seek to save the lost
      2) Even if they don't know how, they will not rest until they are
         doing something that might lead others to Christ
2. What motivated Jesus to save the lost?
   a. What prompted Him to come to this earth?
   b. What propelled Him to go from city to city with the gospel of the
   c. What moved Him to endure the shame and pain of dying on the

3. Several factors could be listed...
   a. His strong sense of purpose (to do His Father's will) - Jn 6:38
   b. The Father's love (which He wanted to share) - Jn 15:9; 17:26
   c. The potential condemnation those He sought to save (of which He
      warned) - Mt 10:28
   d. The joy set before Him (helping Him to endure the cross) - He 12:
   -- Each of these factors can help motivate us as well

4. But there was one factor which is mentioned in the text for our 
   study today...
   a. Our text is Mt 9:35-38, in which we read of the on-going ministry
      of Jesus
   b. Notice verse 36, "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved
      with compassion for them..."

[Compassion for the lost...could the lack thereof explain why many
Christians do not actively seek to save others?  To help answer that
question, let's first take a closer look at...]


      1. As mentioned on numerous occasions
         a. In our text - Mt 9:36
         b. Prior to feeding the five thousand - Mt 14:14
         c. Prior to feeding the four thousand - Mt 15:32
         d. Toward various individuals
            1) A leper - Mk 1:40-41
            2) A demon-possessed man - Mk 5:1-20 (cf. verse 19)
            3) The widow of Nain who had lost her son - Lk 7:11-15
            4) The two blind men - Mt 20:30-34
      2. He was moved with compassion when He saw people:
         a. Weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd
         b. Suffering from diseases, demon possession, and hunger

      1. To heal the sick and demon-possessed, raise the dead, and feed
         the hungry
      2. To personally teach those in need of a Shepherd - cf. Mk 6:34
      3. To call upon His disciples to pray for more laborers - Mt 9:
      4. To send out His disciples as laborers - Mt 10:1-7

[Jesus was truly "Moved By Compassion" for the lost.  Thus motivated,
He did what He could to meet their needs, especially their need for
salvation!  Now let's a few moments to consider...]


      1. Are we moved when we see...
         a. Multitudes of people who are without Christ?
         b. Individuals who are lost in sin?
      2. Can we say we have compassion for the lost, if we've made...
         a. No effort to teach someone the gospel?
         b. Little effort to even get to know those who are lost?
      3. What have you done in the past year for the lost?
         a. The answer to this question reveals much about our 
         b. Are you pleased with the answer?
      1. Does our inactivity suggest a lack of compassion?
         a. Is it evident that we have not been as concerned for the
            lost as we should be?
         b. What can we do to develop compassion?
      2. Compassion for lost souls can be developed by...
         a. Letting God teach us how to love - 1Th 4:9; 1Jn 3:16-17
            1) God teaches us through the example of His Son
            2) By frequent contemplation of God's love for us, the more
               we will love others!
            -- Thus the Word of God is essential for developing 
         b. Spending time around people
            1) To love people, we need to get to know them
               a) As stated by Will Rogers, "I never met a man I did 
                  not like"
               b) The more we come to know people, the more likely we
                  become concerned about their well being
            2) We need to beware of becoming isolated from people
               a) Certain technological advances can be a hindrance to
                  getting out and being with people (e.g., television,
                  air conditioning, computers)
               b) Remember, Jesus was often moved by compassion when
                  among the "multitudes" and "individuals"

      1. To do whatever we can do...
         a. Such as teach others - cf. Mk 6:34
         b. Unable to teach?  Then compassion should move us to:
            1) Learn to teach others - cf. He 5:12; 1Pe 3:15
            2) Make arrangements for others to be taught
               a) As Philip did for Nathaniel - Jn 1:45-46
               b) As Cornelius did for family and friends - Ac 10:24,33
      2. To seek to involve others in saving the lost...
         a. By praying that the Lord will send more laborers - Mt 9:38
            1) This is something everyone can do
            2) Even if we can't yet teach, we can pray! - 2Th 3:1
         b. By sending out others to teach - Mt 10:1,5-7
            1) Jesus did more than teach and pray, He trained and sent
               out His disciples
            2) We can be involved with sending out others also
               a) Encouraging the training of those willing to teach
               b) Supporting financially those who go out to teach 
                  - Php 4:15-16; 3Jn 5-8


1. Without compassion for the lost, there is no "steam"...
   a. We may have the knowledge and the opportunity to teach others
   b. But like a train on a track with no steam, we will just sit there
   -- Is that what we have been doing regarding evangelism?  Could it
      be we are lacking the "steam" necessary for evangelism?

2. With compassion for the lost, we will not rest until we are doing
   a. It may not be the same thing as others, but it will be something
   b. If we don't know how or what to do, compassion will motivate us
      to keep looking, studying, etc., until we find something to do
   -- For as the "steam" builds, we will not be satisfied until we
      begin moving and releasing the steam, just as Jeremiah said:

   "Then I said, `I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore
   in His name.' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
   shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could
   not." (Jer 20:9)

May the example of our Lord Jesus, the true Word of God, whose 
compassion moved Him to save us, burn in our hearts until we too are
"Moved By Compassion"!
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