When Christ Emotionally Broke

There are conferences, seminars, books, movies, and songs that teach and motivate Christians to evangelize. I’ve attended them, taught them, and written them. But it amazes me what Christ said to His disciples when they saw Him emotionally break over the spiritual condition of the people.

In Houston, Texas, where I get to direct a team of Child Evangelism Fellowship staff, there are over 1/2 million unchurched children. That’s a huge number, but it drastically increases when we count their family members. How are we going to reach them? I only have a few staff.  That’s why we seek to build relationships with churches. We train and equip Christians in local churches to reach these children and their families.

But the training isn’t the most important part.

There are a few places in Scripture where the Savior wept. But there is one where He was “moved with compassion.” Check out Matthew 9:35-38:

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”

Can you imagine the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, falling to His knees and weeping after seeing a bunch of wondering people? I can almost hear Peter, as he nudges his brother, Andrew, say, “What’s up with this? Did I say something…again?”

Before Jesus empowered His disciples in chapter ten to minister to people, He embraced their hearts with His compassion for lost people. He allowed them to see His love for people who were hurting and were in need of deliverance, and then…

…He told them to pray.

Prayer is the most important part. It’s the most powerful part.

“Look at the people, Peter! See the vast number of them? They are many, and they are lost,” Jesus might’ve said. “And look at us. We are so few. I plead with you, my brothers. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send more workers. The harvest is white, but there are very few who are at work!”

It wasn’t they physical illnesses that broke the Savior’s heart. He healed those. It was the spiritual condition that moved Him. He cried. With tears flowing, Jesus begged His disciples to pray.

Think about your church small group, weekly prayer meetings, and Sunday school classes. What kind of prayer requests are mostly given. Most probably, you are thinking of physical sicknesses.

I’m not against praying for physical sicknesses. I praise God for the thousands who are praying for our daughter who is battling cancer.

Hear the heart of the Savior. May it move you to be passionate to fulfill His greatest desire—for mankind to believe in Him. As you go, pray.


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