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Matthew 9:36

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
He had compassion on them. The bowels of his compassion yearned to see multitudes cast down and oppressed, like sheep that are without a shepherd. The Pharisees indeed were their shepherds; but they acted the part of ravenous wolves, not only neglecting to lead the people to virtue, but even hindering, as much as they could, their advancement in good; for when the admiring multitude cried out, "Never did the like appear in Israel "they immediately decried it, saying, "By the prince of devils he casteth out devils. "(St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.) ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
No instigator had stirred up the crowds. They were not harassed and helpless because of some mishap or disturbance. So why is Jesus so moved with compassion for these people? Clearly the Lord has pity on these people held in the sway of an unclean spirit and burdened by the law, because no shepherd was about to restore to them the guardianship of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of this gift was indeed potentially abundant but not yet harvested by anyone. The bounty of the Spirit overwhelms the multitude of those who take hold of it. For no matter how much it is gathered by everyone, it abounds in fruitfulness. And because it is good to have many people through whom he is served, he orders his disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth as many laborers as possible into the harvest. He prays that God may bestow an abundance of reapers to take hold of what the gift of the Holy Spirit was preparing. Through prayer and exhortation, God pours out this gift upon us. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
See again His freedom from vainglory. That He may not draw all men unto Himself, He sends out His disciples. And not with this view only, but that He might also teach them, after practising in Palestine, as in a sort of training-school, to strip themselves for their conflicts with the world. For this purpose then He makes the exercises even more serious than the actual conflicts, so far as pertained to their own virtue; that they might more easily engage in the struggles that were to ensue; as it were a sort of tender nestlings whom He was at length leading out to fly. And for the present He makes them physicians of bodies, dispensing to them afterwards the cure of the soul, which is the principal thing. And mark how He points out the facility and necessity of the thing. For what says He? The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. That is, not to the sowing, says He, but to the reaping do I send you. Which in John He expressed by, Other men labored, and you are ent...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. They did not have a shepherd. For their rulers not only failed to correct them, but even harmed them. The mark of the true shepherd is to have compassion for his flock.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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