Mark 1:41 “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.”
Mark 6:34 “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”
In this day and age, we are easily stirred. Talk show hosts prey upon those very emotions to get callers and incite heated exchanges that entertain. News is constantly put before us and demands that sides be taken. Emails, text messages, notifications and alerts all vie for our attention.
But watch a man and you will see what it is that matters most. Actions confirm the words we speak. So it is with us in the home, with our families, the workplace, our neighborhood and community. We say, “I love you”, but angry words, physical violence and neglect reveal the hypocrisy of that statement. Our children hear us denigrate the man of God and the church at home and act pious when at church. The sowing of that behavior will reap a whirlwind of trouble as it creates disrespect for godly authority and that for which Christ died to purchase.
Jesus, our example, was moved with compassion. No other person in the bible is commended that way. It does not say that Moses had compassion. It is not recorded that David had compassion. Only one time does it mention that anyone else other than God had compassion – Pharoah’s daughter when she saw Moses as a babe in the ark of bulrushes.
Exodus 2:5-6 “And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
All other references are to God’s compassion for us.
The very definition of compassion ought to stir us to action:
1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.
Empathy and sympathy are often confused with compassion. Each of them are feelings. Feelings of emotion. Albeit, feelings without action. Hearing of one’s misfortune or loss can cause us to remember our loss and have sympathy or empathy. But going to be alongside them and grieve with them is compassion.
Sadly, most people today have more compassion on their pets than their fellow man. Numberless homeless, orphaned and abandoned folks go with a meal, shelter or even clothes and we pass by them every day unfazed by their condition. We will save a whale yet kill our unborn.
So, bringing this thought home; compassion is something that comes from God. We do not possess it of ourselves. It is seeing as God sees and allowing our hearts to be affected in such a way that we move. Move to help; move to protect; move to encourage, enable and empower. We may never know this side of Heaven how our words of love, acts of kindness, encouragement, and hope brought someone back from the brink of despair, despondency and even suicide.
Allow compassion to permeate your vision today. Seeing someone as God sees them. We may see the anger, the violence and hear the words of hatred and division. But, we, as children of God, must act – not react. Act in love, patience, longsuffering and compassion. Pray that God would remove that which keeps you from loving your neighbor as yourself; loving your enemies and praying for them and doing good to them and we will see a change happen that could very well be the catalyst for revival.
It has to start somewhere – why not with us? Why not now…?