Have you ever been at a program of some kind, when suddenly the focus turns to someone who happens to be sitting in one of the front rows? Maybe it is at the Ice Follies or the circus, when one of the performers invites a spectator to join in the event in some way. It could be at a sports event or a concert, where there has been a raffle of some kind and suddenly a name is called, inviting that surprised individual to come to the platform to receive the gift. It could be anytime in a big crowd when, for a variety of reasons, one individual unexpectedly becomes the center of attention. Would you agree that getting an autograph, receiving real personal attention or actually looking into the eyes of performers, speakers, and famous people as they acknowledge you, happens only on rare occasions? Most of the time, it does not even occur to people that the honored guest or participants would have any personal interest in the people in the audience.
When the crowds followed Jesus, however, He seemed to notice everyone and often He would ask them how He could help them. He looked at the children and invited them to be near Him so that He could touch them and pray for them. He had conversations with individuals who had questions and concerns. He called some people by name so that He could give them personal attention. He even stopped long enough to ask someone if there was anything that they really wanted Him to do. What motivated Jesus to see beyond the crowd, to care about the sick, the troubled, the forgotten and the marginalized people who stood on the edges of the multitude? He often paused long enough to tell another story about the Kingdom of Heaven so that these people could hear about the vast difference between His character and values and the ones that they embraced. Matthew recalled for us that He was filled with compassion!
The truth is that He is still doing the same thing today. While you cannot see Him in person, through His Spirit He quietly calls out to you and says, “What would you like Me to do for you?” “What is ti you want?”