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March 12 – Christ’s compassion 

“. . . a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” – Matthew 12:20 

Scripture reading: Mark 6:7-34

Our passage today recounts the mission of the twelve apostles and the beheading of our Lord’s forerunner, John the Baptizer. Burdened by the death of John and knowing His disciples were wearied by the constant coming and going of the people, Jesus invites His disciples to come with Him to a desolate place for some rest.

The people saw them go and reached the place of repose before them. Jesus, seeing the crowds, had compassion on them and began to teach them many things. Here we see the compassionate heart of the Lord. He saw the crowds were bereft of spiritual care and, although He was weary and hungry, He ministered to them. He pities His people left in such difficult conditions because of human sin.

In His sympathetic ministry to them He comes with gentleness. He knows our frailty, understands human weakness, and by grace, treats us with a tenderness that doesn’t break us in our fragility and quench what spiritual life we have. Our need draws His attention to us.

Mark tells us that Jesus’s compassion led Him to teach them many things. Certainly, His teaching must have been about Himself as He invited labouring and heavy-laden people to come to Him for rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28-29).

And if His compassion is displayed in His teaching the shepherd-less crowds, what does His death as the Lamb of God demonstrate? Surely, immeasurable compassion! Happy are those who are loved by this Saviour!

Suggestions for prayer

Cast all your burdens upon the Lord knowing that you have a sympathetic High Priest as God’s right hand. Thank the Lord Jesus for His kind compassion in ministering to our spiritual needs.

Rev. John van Eyk began his ministry in Cambridge, Ontario as a Church Planter and Minister of the Riverside Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After 13 years there, he served almost 10 years in the Tain/Fearn congregation of the Associated Presbyterian Churches in the Scottish Highlands. John has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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