Jesus is full of compassion. Numerous times, the gospels specifically record that Jesus saw a person or a situation and had compassion. In every case, this is followed by an action – Jesus heals, teaches, or performs a miracle. He saw a widow weeping, had compassion on her, and raised her son to life [Luke 7:12-15]. Two blind men called out to him, and hearing their request, Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes so they could see [Matthew 20:34]. Compassion always moved Jesus to action. Moreover, the way Jesus responded in compassion was intentional, specific and intuitive. He saw what people desire, what they lacked, and what they needed. He loved them, fulfilled needs with abundance, and He showed who He was as He responded to these needs. I want to be more like Jesus, and I want to have compassion like His. Mark records two examples of Jesus’ compassion which we can explore further.
————- MARK 1:40-45 ————-
This was the situation:
“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’”
Jesus was moved with compassion and it resulted in this:
“[Jesus] … stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.’”
I see a couple of things happening here. The leper comes to Jesus. He comes with:
- A problem (his leprosy)
- A desire (to be made clean)
- A petition (would Jesus be willing to heal him)
Jesus’ compassion moves Him to RESPOND.
- He stretches Himself towards the man (just as the man came to Him)
- He touches the man (acknowledging an even deeper desire – because lepers were segregated, and isolated from the rest of society)
- He shows the man His heart, and His power (Jesus is willing, and does heal him)
————- MARK 6:30-42 ————-
This was the situation:
“…the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.”
Jesus saw them and was moved with compassion which resulted in this:
- He taught them (as they desired to learn)
- A miracle occurred (5 loaves and 2 pieces of bread fed a multitude)
- All ate and were filled, and there were leftovers (there was spiritual and physical fullness)
The crowds came to Jesus, hungry to learn from Him and hear His word. Once again, Jesus’ compassion moves Him to RESPOND.
- He stayed with them (they looked, and they found Him)
- He became their shepherd (since He saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd)
- He fed them (because they were hungry)
THESE PASSAGES REVEAL JESUS’ CHARACTER
- Jesus knows us and loves us – He knows our desires, our pursuit, our questions and our fears. He loves us, and He wants us to be whole.
- Jesus does not reject genuine faith – When we come to Him and when we seek Him, He will be found, He will be faithful and He will reach out towards us. We may sin and have problems, but Jesus stands with open arms.
- Jesus sees our inmost desires and responds to them – Jesus always answers. He gives more than we expect, and He heals more than we can see.
A PERSONAL APPLICATION
Knowing Jesus’ compassion impacts both the way I approach Him, and the way I respond to others.
———————————— (1) ———————————–
I approach Jesus with confidence, knowing that
He knows our weakness, understands our desires
and is willing to set us free in His grace.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – [Hebrews 4:16]
What burden, desire or situation can you bring to Jesus this week? Tell Him your thoughts, your feelings and your petition, and watch for His answer.
———————————— (2) ———————————–
When I see others in need, I want to respond with compassion like Jesus’
– to understand their needs and desires, to be supportive in presence,
and to usher them towards the healing power of Christ.
Compassion like Jesus’ will always move us to action. Is there a person or situation you can respond to with compassion this week?
Compassion like Jesus’ is selfless. It is motivated by love, understands the heart, is expressed in a response, and glorifies the character of God. Jesus stood with a suffering world, and healed it with compassion. I want to experience Jesus’ compassion myself, and also to heal others with it.