Monday, July 16, 2012


Webster's New World Dictionary defines "compassion" as "sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another, coupled with a urge to help; to pity."  When I look at the word, I see the combination of our word "compass" meaning "to surround," and "passion" meaning "to love intensely."  I can almost visualize God's arms wrapped around His humble child as I come to Him for mercy.  I cannot speak for every believer in Christ, but that is how I feel; God has shown me mercy, and has graciously adopted me as His child.  Romans 8:15 says, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." 

Not only has God adopted, as His children, those of us who believe in Jesus, He knew of our response to the Gospel before the world was created (Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4)!  Ephesians 1:5-6 says, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved." 

Like His Father, Jesus repeatedly showed compassion on those around Him.  Matthew used the Greek word "splagchnizomai" meaning "to love from one's innermost being, and be moved with pity."  There are four examples of the Lord's love for mankind in Matthew's Gospel:

1)  "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (9:36)."
2)  "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick" (14:14).  This occurred immediately before the feeding of the five thousand.
3)  "Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way" (15:32).  This preceded the feeding of the four thousand.
4)  "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him" (20:34).

Jesus, the Lamb of God, wanted to be Israel's Shepherd.  He cared about their physical needs, for food and healing.  His very coming to our planet, the one He created (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2), was the result of God having compassion on fallen man (Jn. 3:16)!  And, since it is God's goal that His children should be like Jesus (Gen. 1:26; 1 Jn. 3:2), ought not we show compassion on the lost?

When I grow up, I want to be just like Jesus!


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