Reflections: July 26, 2020
The Seventh Sunday after Trinity
By Joel Shaltanis
[Jesus said], "I have compassion …" (Mark 8:2a)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why does Jesus do the things He does? What moves Him? John wrote that Jesus was "full of grace" (John 1:14). Grace is God's unmerited favor, His unearned love for His creatures. He doesn't bless those who deserve it, but His blessings are given to those He loves, to those who need them.
Mark records in our text that Jesus saw the crowds and said, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat." Compassion: This is why Jesus blesses. This is grace, His unmerited favor. This is love in action. He sees people in need and provides for them. At this time and place He miraculously provided food for their bodies. He provided more than enough, so that everyone ate and was satisfied and there was plenty leftover.
At other times Jesus provided for people by healing diseases or restoring sight and hearing. Many times He cast out demons. A few times He even raised loved ones from the dead. Jesus has tremendous power because He is the Son of God and He has come to use this power to help those in need.
Man's greatest need is forgiveness and reconciliation to God. He is holy, but we are sinful and fallen, not what we were supposed to be. Jesus came to take on this greatest need and provide more than enough. He takes on our filth and makes us clean.
Sometimes a certain sin can haunt you. Maybe you have done something for which you are truly ashamed. The devil loves to throw it in your face and get you to doubt whether you can really be forgiven. Always remember: Jesus is full of compassion. He provides us with assurance, too, by giving His forgiveness through the Word of the Gospel, in the water of Holy Baptism, and at the altar. There, too, He gives you bread to eat that is His very Body. Eat and be satisfied! Your sins are forgiven! His grace is sufficient. In fact, it is more than enough! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, whose never-failing providence orders all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly implore You to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity)
-Rev. Joel Shaltanis is pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Plano, TX.
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