The Compassion of Jesus

Published 1:57 pm Friday, August 11, 2023

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In our world, much is said about compassion towards others. However, compassion is addressed in such a way that Christians are told to never speak so much as a little bit concerning the sin that is in our world. And we are told that we can never address certain sins for fear that we might offend someone. Some Christians have even been ridiculed and threatened for speaking against the deviant lifestyles that many people are involved in. They claim that silence in that face of sin this is the Christian thing to do; that it is the Christian way of living among sin in the world. The word tolerance is thrown around like spice on food as if it will make sin null and void or make the appearance of sin more palatable. We then are told that we may never speak in opposition to those in the world that teach doctrines which are foreign to the Gospel of Christ. The modern theology among many religious people is that we are all heading to heaven and that there are many ways to get there. All of this is said to be compassion towards the masses. But is this really compassion or is it merely Satan’s attempt to convince or force us to ignore the sin that is in the world.
Thayer’s Greek Definitions states that compassion is being “…moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).” The U.S. Cambridge online dictionary state that compassion is “…a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for other people’s suffering or bad luck and a desire to help.” To get a true understanding of sympathy we need to look no further than the Bible. Consider some examples from the New Testament concerning compassion.
In Mark 9:14-27 we read about the compassionate healing of a man’s son that was possessed with an unclean spirit that caused the man’s son to be mute. In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus was faced with a leper whom he healed of that dreaded disease because he had compassion on him. We find in John 4, the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. This meeting gave Jesus the opportunity to teach many Samaritans concerning the coming Kingdom of God. He did so because of His compassion for them, he did so even when the Jews of his day regarded the Samaritans as nothing more than wild dogs. Jesus also spent time eating with sinners and publicans according to Luke 5:27-32; this was of course a compassionate decision that infuriated the Jewish elite. For compassion’s sake, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He would cast demons out of people, he would raise a widow’s son from the dead, and spent much of his time in this world healing all manner of maladies, both physical and spiritual.
The compassion of Jesus was truly awesome and at times it was indeed overwhelming. And he did it all regardless of what others said about Him. His compassion moved Him to do things that many people in the world disagreed with. While Christians cannot perform miracles like Jesus did, we can still have compassion on others in the world (Acts 6:3). What we have is the truth concerning the soul saving power of the Gospel of Christ. Regardless of where we go in this world, we face people in worse conditions than those who Jesus healed of their physical infirmities. We face people that are lost in their sins. The question is, do we have enough compassion to help the needs of their souls?
Isn’t it interesting that we live in a world where people show open compassion for an animal in need, but few have compassion for those lost in their sins? Perhaps the greatest expression of compassion a Christian can offer is to have the boldness to define sin and to warn about its devastating effect on the souls of their fellow man (1 Peter 3:8-12, Jude 20-23, Acts 17:16-17, 33-34). It is the Christian’s duty to compassionately lead people to Christ and away from sin. If you are a Christian, do you have proper compassion for the lost of this world?
If you are not a Christian, I want you to know that Jesus, the Lord of compassion is ready and willing to forgive you of your sins (Matthew 11:28-29). I want to encourage you to become a Christian so you can take advantage of the compassion of Jesus. You can do so by following the examples of those which obeyed the gospel during the first century (Acts 2:37-39; 8:26-40; Romans 6:1-14, Galatians 3:27).
If we can help you in any way, please contact the Centerview Church of Christ in Elizabethton Tennessee at 441 Hatcher Lane.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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