Summary: We are called to live out a life of genuine compassion with others to show the love of Jesus
August 11, 2013
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A subjective person came along and said, "I feel for you down there."
An objective person walked by and said, "It’s logical that someone would fall down there."
A Pharisee said, "Only bad people fall into pits."
A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.
An IRS agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.
A self-pitying person said, "You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit."
A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, "You deserve your pit."
A Christian Scientist observed, "The pit is just in your mind."
A psychologist noted, "Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit."
A self-esteem therapist said, "Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit."
An optimist said, "Things could be worse."
A pessimist claimed, "Things will get worse."
"Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit."
If you were asked to come up with just a few words to describe the character of Jesus, What would they be? One of the key words that would describe Jesus must be compassionate. Jesus was continually showing a living compassion for people around Him. Here are just a few examples:
* Jesus revealed who He was to the woman at the well
* Jesus saved the woman caught in adultery
* Jesus befriended Zacheaus
* Jesus went out to the helpless and the harassed
* Jesus healed those who were sick
* Jesus extended forgiveness to those who sought it
* Jesus showed compassion on those who were lost spiritually
The lifestyle of Jesus was one of compassion. Compassion wasn’t something that Jesus did when people were watching. It was a part of who he was and a part of the mission He came to complete. Jesus lived out His compassion in practical ways that made a difference in the lives of people. Jesus showed His compassion to people who needed it and when they needed it the most.
One of the great examples of the compassion of Jesus is the feeding of the multitude.
1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance." 4 His disciples answered, "But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?" 5 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied. 6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand men were present. And having sent them away, Mark 8:1-9
The Compassion of Jesus
The word compassion used here to describe Jesus is a compound word with two roots. The first is a word that described having sympathy for someone and the second was a word to describe the gut. The implication is that compassion is a deep seated sympathy for others that moves us to action. The fact that Mark records here is that Jesus felt something for these people from the very core of His being.
The implication is simple: whatever our need, whatever our hurt, whatever our struggle – we have a Savior who feels for us. No matter what we face in our lives, Jesus is moved in His heart to feel our pain and sympathize with our problems. The reality is that Jesus is not only aware of the needs that we have but he is also concerned about them. More than mere concern, Jesus cares about the difficulties we face in life.
Compassion prompts action
Whenever we see the word compassion associated with Jesus it is always followed by action. The reality is that compassion without action is worthless because nothing happens and nothing changes. The work of Jesus moves people into the care of God Himself.
* Compassion on the people like sheep without a shepherd
* Compassion and healed the sick
* Compassion and opened the eyes of the blind
* Compassion and He fed those who were hungry