Read: Luke 7:11-17; Matthew 9:35-38
This has been a week filled with a mixture of many questions and emotions. Many of us have experienced sorrow and anger and perplexity as we have watched the people of Uvalde, Texas suffer because of the evil plan which resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.
Many questions might never be answered such as:
1. Why did someone deliberately cause such pain and sorrow?
2. Could this same thing happen in any given town?
3. Why did God not stop this from happening?
There are many scriptures that speak about evil and how it entered into the world, and there are other scriptures that speak of the sovereignty of God in the World He has made. Any of these can give some answers, but for now, may we look into what we know for certain concerning God's heart toward those who are presently grieving? May we be comforted ourselves and hold out comfort by remembering what the Bible says about the God we serve? These truths will not so much answer the why questions; rather, they will remind us how the Savior we love reacted to the pain He saw when He walked among us, John 1:14. As we glimpse these two incidents in Jesus' life, we will see that we can know for certain what His reaction is to the grief the people of Uvalde are experiencing right now. Praise Him. He is close to the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18; Psalm 147:3, and these passages reveal Jesus' heart felt love which mirrored the Father's, John 14:8-10.
1. Jesus' tender love poured out on the widow of Nain, Luke 7:11-17. Luke is the only one of the four gospel writers who shares this incident with us, and I'm thankful the Holy Spirit chose to inspire him to do so, John 14:25-26. If we were in that large crowd that accompanied the unnamed widow, we would have heard her weeping. Perhaps, we would have been crying too. Then it happened. There was Jesus. As far as we can know, His intervention wasn't sought. Yet it came in a miraculous and glorious way. Even prior to the unfathomable joy that He brought about when he raised the widow's son from the dead, we read the precious words that remind us of God's tender love. "His heart went out to her." She was one woman whose grief was deep. The Savior looked at her, not with apathy, but with empathy. He cared, and His actions were fueled by love.
2. Jesus' love poured out on a crowd whose greatest need was salvation, Matthew 9:35-38. When we meet Jesus in Matthew 9, He had been teaching and healing in the synagogues in the cities and villages. It is here that we learn of His reaction to the crowds He encountered. Here is another picture of His heart of love.
How would we react to so many people who needed teaching and healing? Impatience or indifference? Jesus' reaction was so different than ours sometimes is. He had compassion for them because He saw their need for a Savior. He saw them as helpless and harassed sheep Who needed a Shepherd. They weren't simply more bothersome people. They were individuals who needed someone to tell them about the Living God. Jesus asked His followers to pray for more laborers to help bring in the harvest. What a reminder that a heart of compassion will first be shown through prayer.
So, what can we remember as we watch the events in Uvalde, Texas? The Creator/Redeemer's heart goes out to them. He sees them as individuals who have all kinds of needs. Our prayers for them will be poured out to the One Who has no limitations and no lack of love for them. He sees them as individuals just as He saw the widow in Nain. We know that the Savior wants them to know Him as their Great Shepherd Whose ultimate plan will result in a time when weeping will cease and pain will come to an end, Revelation 21:1-6. His plan to seek and save, Luke 19:10 springs from God's heart of compassion, and His arms are held out toward anyone in Uvalde who hasn't yet received His grace, Romans 5:6-11. These things, we know for certain.