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Commentary on "Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle"



Day 3: Monday, April 23, 2012 - Having Compassion for People



When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:36-38 ESV)



The theme for today’s lesson is a good one and well support by the memory text. The Quarterly makes some good points but fails to point the student in the direction of why the people were 'harassed and helpless’. To help understand the example of the compassion that Jesus Christ had for those around him, let’s include the verse that preceded the memory text.

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. (Matt 9:35 ESV)

First and foremost, Jesus was teaching and proclaiming 'the gospel of the kingdom’ along with healing every disease and affliction. Then it is noted that the people were without religious leaders who should have been doing the very same thing he is doing. Central to the failure of the Pharisees of that time is their refusal to preach the 'gospel of the kingdom’ (of God). So, let’s move over to the gospel of John and examine what Jesus had to say about this kingdom when talking to Nicodemus.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.’ (John 3:3-7 ESV)

Jesus makes several key points here concerning the kingdom of God. First you must be 'born again’ and then explains clearly that you must experience both a physical birth and a spiritual birth before you can 'see’ the kingdom of God. In Matthew Chapter 19 we learn several additional points. First, entering the kingdom of God is equivalent to having salvation. Also, it is impossible for a sinner to do anything to enter God’s kingdom. In-other-words, there is nothing we can do to gain, merit, earn or maintain our salvation. It is totally a work of God. Hence, we come right back to the pure simple gospel message of Jesus Christ.



  1. If you have compassion for those who are 'harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’, then you will be preaching the same gospel of the kingdom of God that Jesus preached.
  2. The gospel of Jesus Christ which is best expressed by his death, burial and resurrection for the atonement and remission of your sins is the message that will bring you into the kingdom of God.
  3. Any other message is a non-gospel that no person with real compassion for lost sinners would ever preach. Remember, nothing man can do will ever give a person entry into the kingdom of God.




Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Revised April 17, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email:

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