Truth for Young Believers: Seeing and Sympathy

One of the first steps in reaching someone for Christ is to look: “When he saw the crowds” (Matt 9:36, ESV); “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes and see” (John 4:35, ESV). Or, you may ignore what you see, as the priest and Levite did. Each, “when [they] saw him, passed by on the other side” (Luke 10:31-32). However, seeing is not enough. The Samaritan, “when he saw him, he had compassion” (Luke 10:33). Seeing ought to lead to sympathy.

Sympathy and Sharing

John asks the question: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1John 3:17). He sees, but something stops the sympathy and sharing. The assumption is this: if the love of God has reached you, it should lead you to reach out to others. Sympathy should lead to sharing.

This is what Solomon says: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’ – when you have it with you” (Prov 3:27-28, ESV). An article in October’s magazine mentioned Robert McCheyne weeping in an alley over the “tramp of Christless feet on the way to hell.” The seriousness should make us act speedily.

Size and Strategy

Christ, “when He saw the crowds, had compassion for them” because no one else had. “They were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9:36, ESV). He saw the task was too big for one person, so He mobilized others. Its size should lead us to strategize.

The Spiritual and Supplication

“Then said he to his disciples, ‘The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest that he will send out laborers into his harvest.‘” It’s spiritual, so supplicate.

Did you note the word “laborers”? It’s not for idle hands. Christ preached throughout all Galilee (Mark 1:39), 1,200 km2, 204 cities, total population three million plus. That doesn’t include Samaria, Judea, and other regions. Paul’s efforts, in terms of distance alone, are astonishing: 13,500 km. One study puts it at 16,500, involving 281 days of travel, and that’s not complete. Consider also 2 Corinthians 6 and 11 – time, travel, trial, trouble, tiredness, teaching, training, and text (13 NT books). Of course, we can’t all match the exploits of Christ or Paul, nor are we expected to, but it seems that gospel work is, well, work! Paul said, “So have I strived to preach the gospel” (Rom 15:20).

Whatever you choose to do – pray, leave a tract, send a text message, recommend, or Anchorpoint Radio (, make a call, seize a moment in conversation, write a letter, invite someone for coffee or a meal, distribute Via magazines and invitations, write a tract, share your testimony, stock up on calendars (International Bible House, – do it today.