I remember I had just read the story of Jesus feeding the multitude of people.
I remember this time for some reason, I was really touched by the emotion in the story. Not just that Jesus fed thousands with a couple of fish and a few pieces of bread, but more how he felt.
Jesus had just heard about the violent death of his friend John the Baptist. He wanted to be alone, but the crowds found him.
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.
I remember the next verse clearly. It’s always been there, but I think I would quickly read over to get to the miracle part.
Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Tired. Rejected. Grieving. Really needing his space. Jesus sees the crowd and has compassion on them. In fact, not just compassion, he heals them before feeding them!
I know me well enough to know when I’m tired, much less really upset about something, I’m usually more me-centered than others-centered. But not Jesus. He saw the people and had compassion. And when Jesus feeds them, it’s not just enough to sustain them, it’s so much that there were baskets full of leftovers. He did far more than he had to.
I remember the first song I heard after reading Matthew 14. It was Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father.” Mind you, I had heard it many times before. Probably sang along with Chris on the chorus, but never really let the words sink in.
Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone
Then the chorus:
You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
But I think it may have been this line that brought it all home that morning:
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word.
Jesus – our Father – sees us. And despite us, has compassion for us and through his sacrifice heals us. Tired. Broken. Crucified. All for us. You and me.
Recently I saw Chris Tomlin perform “Good Good Father” live at Christian Music Day at Carowinds. Before Chris started, he said: “Tonight, I’m not singing to you. You’re not singing to me. We all are singing to Him.”
A gigantic screen behind him displayed every word of every song, so we could sing along. I remember during “Good Good Father”, Chris stopped and turned the mic toward the crowd. Then we sang. Thousands sang as one voice about our Father. It’s one of the most moving concert moments I’ve ever experienced. And it all comes back to that simple story of Jesus (Father) and the crowd (us). How our Father sees us, feels compassion for us, and goes way beyond what he has to do for us.
That is why he is a Good Good Father.