Summary: When ministering to people we need to have compassion
Moved With Compassion
Jesus has called us to go out and “…go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Just the commandment “go” is something that would simply move us out from our churches and houses to go and tell everyone about Jesus Christ; but there are other things which compel us to go and one of these things is COMPASSION.
Compassion is born out of love and love is found in God: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1John 4:8).
I believe that many times, compassion or love for people is not what drives us, but instead, ministry, position and finding something to do is driving us to go out. This will work for a short while but it will not last forever: whenever we face problem; a high position or ministry will not encourage us to not let our hands let go of the plow and look back, but compassion for people will, the love of Christ will.
My wife once asked God what is the most important thing for Him – He answered, “People.”
2. Compassion shown through the life of Jesus Christ
Jesus is our example in everything and also in doing ministry. What was it that drove Jesus?
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and 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.
1. Be attentive to people
As Jesus was going through all the towns and villages preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God and healing every disease and sickness – He was looking at the crowds and saw that they were harassed (tormented) and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus was looking at the crowds – sometimes we need to take time to look at the people we meet. Often we are so in a hurry to do our ministry so we forget why we are here. When Jesus saw the people He was filled with a compassion for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. They were harassed and helpless. Many times it is when we start to look upon the people God can speak to us. We lift our eyes from our own situation to see other peoples’ lives and helplessness.
Mankind is lost without Jesus. They are on their way to hell.
2. Compassion is not just a feeling but involves action
• Many times when we see something, for example, we can see a young girl that is crippled and can’t go
• We feel pity and sympathy for her, but it stays there
• Literally it says that when Jesus had compassion on them – his bowels inside was yearning
• Yearning that these people who were scattered like sheep without a shepherd should come to know Him – the Good Shepherd
• And his feeling of compassion made Him to do something… He appointed 12 apostles and send them out to preach the Kingdom of God, heal the sick and raise the dead to life
Ex: The Chinese female evangelist that was out preaching.
The girl who fled from China to HK and when she saw the Bible for the first time she said, “I am willing to go back the same way I came if I only could give my people the word of God.”
Paul said in 2 Cor 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, [the Russian bible is not the right translation] because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
“We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.” – Alexander Duff
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
• This man was unclean because of his sickness.
• The man had probably heard a lot about Jesus; how He was healing people and casting out demons. He knew that Jesus was ABLE to cure him from his sickness.
• What he didn’t know was if Jesus was WILLING to cure him.
• Jesus was filled with compassion for this man.
• It didn’t bother Jesus that this man had an unclean disease, but He touched him and made him clean
Ex: There was a businessman who was traveling in Japan and while there he met a young American woman who worked as a missionary among the lepers. When he heard that she had left a prosperous life in the US, he was amazed and told her: “I wouldn’t do this for 1 million dollar.” She replied, “Me neither,” “but I’ll do it for Jesus!”