Dec. 18, 2018

Heart of Compassion

There are several passages in the book of Matthew where Jesus is described as having compassion for the people. Compassion is more than just having pangs of sorrow or sympathy toward someone. It also includes an intense desire to see the person’s situation changed for the better. Compassion is more than just recognizing in the mind that something needs to be done. Compassion connects the information in the head to the drawing pressure of the heart. Compassion makes the heart leak a little for those who need help.

The people in Jesus’ day probably had the same reasons for not helping as we do today.  We may not help today because we are skeptical. There are so many scammers. Especially during the holidays, cons have all kinds of schemes to play on people’s sympathies.

Or maybe I am just too busy with my own life and issues to be concerned about anyone else. We all have responsibilities and even additional ones during this season.

Do I close my eyes and ears to the person who is hurting and needs a kind word of hope? Do I rush by them, list in hand, to locate the last few items on my shopping list?

What if they don’t look clean or healthy? Do I want to risk catching whatever disease they might have and carry it home to my family?

Jesus was never too busy, too impatient or too afraid. In every instance where the bible states that He had compassion for the people, He also ministered to their needs. Was He tired? Probably. Had He had a long day? Sure. Was He able to stop for a meal whenever He got hungry? Not likely. But He put the needs of others before His own. He saw their conditions and knew they needed hope and healing.

It only takes one person to make a significant positive change in another person’s life. Many times it doesn’t cost you anything but time. People want to be heard. They want to be seen. They don’t want people to look past them as they rush on to their destination. They want to know that someone cares.

Matthew 9: 35-36

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

36 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.

Matthew 14:13-14

13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

 

Matthew 15:30-32

30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:

31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

32 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.

Matthew 20:34

34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

One of the results of Jesus’ demonstrations of compassion is that God was glorified (Matthew 15:31). Isn’t that one of the goals of this life? We are to point people to the Lord. He has all the answers.

We don’t have to do it all…just do something. Help someone to see that they are not forgotten and they are not alone. Don’t be in such a rush to complete your holiday tasks that you miss an opportunity to show someone that Jesus loves them!