Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. (Matt. 24:17-20)Although I have always noticed this passage and Christ’s reference to pregnant women and nursing mothers, I never stopped to think much about it. Only recently did I see something of the gracious character of our Lord in this statement.
How many of us, in the midst of a discourse such as this, would mention the difficulty of pregnant women and nursing mothers? Especially, how many men would refer to it while addressing a group of men (Jesus was addressing His disciples)?
Jesus shows a great deal of empathy and compassion in this brief statement. A pregnant or nursing mother can relate to the difficulty and stress of the moment Jesus described. And yet Christ knows what sort of distress this particular group would endure. Not only does Christ know what the hardship would be like, He takes the time to refer to it.
How many of us have this sort of compassion for people who are in difficult situations? Do we ever stop to think what it would be like to handle daily life if we were in someone else’s situation? Christ was understanding, compassionate, and tender. We should cultivate this type of empathy. How many women stop to think about the difficulties husbands and fathers have in shouldering the responsibilities they have? We all tend to be too distracted with our own problems.
Finally, our recognition of the boundless compassion of Christ should make us realize that our Lord can identify with our situation no matter what it is. He is not bound by our limits. Though male, Christ knew what women could suffer. There is no situation that He is unable to understand.
Let us remember when we draw near to God that we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:15-16)