JESUS REACHES OUT IN COMPASSION TO THE SUFFERING
“Then the Lord passed in front of Moses and called out: ‘The Lord, the Lord God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness.’” — Exodus 34:6
Compassion originates in the heart of God. It is part of His essential nature. Compassion is the first attribute the Almighty God shared when He manifested His glory to Moses. All of Creation exists because of God’s compassion.
Compassion is love and empathy for those who are suffering, together with a desire to help and alleviate their suffering. Beyond just an emotion, compassion inspires action. As a tangible expression of love, compassion gets involved.
Jesus embodied compassion. His supreme sacrifice for us was the ultimate act of compassion. As our Savior, He stepped out and did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He eliminated sin and death on our behalf and gave us eternal life.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages… healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a Shepherd.” — Matthew 9:35-36
Compassion was the driving force behind the ministry of Jesus. We read in Scripture of the many times Jesus was moved to compassion. It was His love and compassion that inspired Him to heal. He was not only the people’s Shepherd, He was their Healer. He continually amazed everyone with His miraculous healings. Yet the cornerstone of all His healings was His heart of compassion.
“Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’… Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ He asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him.” — Matthew 20:30-34
Jesus performed many miraculous acts of healing throughout His ministry. He opened the eyes of the blind… both physically and spiritually. Here we see two blind men who recognize Jesus. They did not have to see Him to know Him and His power to heal. They ask Him for their eyes to be opened. Moved with love and compassion, Jesus reaches out with His healing touch, rescuing them from their blindness. They believe and follow Him.
“A man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged Him, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.” — Luke 5:12-13
In biblical times, leprosy was a dreaded disease with no cure. It was highly contagious and greatly feared by all. Those with leprosy were outcasts from society, forced to live isolated lives. No one dared come near them. Yet we see Jesus’ heart of compassion when He hears a leper calling to Him for healing. Without hesitation, He reaches out to the man, touching Him with His healing power. The leper is immediately cured.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled… Jesus wept… Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” — John 11:33, 35, 40
In Jesus’ greatest miracle, we again see His deep love and compassion. Upon seeing Mary weeping over the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus also weeps. He understands the depth of her emotions. Reaching out in compassion, and to the amazement of all, He miraculously raises Lazarus from the dead. God is glorified and many come to believe in Him.
“Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on them in their suffering.” — Isaiah 49:13
We can trust the Lord’s true heart of compassion for us. He is our Shepherd, our Comforter, our Healer. He will have compassion on us in our sufferings and will forever reach out in love. For His compassion never fails.