Jesus Christ modeled compassion in the perfect way. He demonstrated compassion towards the lost (Luke 19:10), blind (John 9:1-12), deaf and mute (Mark 7:31-37), leper plagued (Luke 17:12-19), demon-possessed (Matthew 8:28-34), paralytic (Mark 2:1-12), dead (John 11:38-44), hungry (Matthew 14:13-21), etc.
The list above gives only a few examples of Jesus’ compassion towards mankind. The ultimate sign of compassion is demonstrated through His life, death and resurrection.
John 15:13, NASB, tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends.”
It is an amazing feat for one to give up his or her life for friends and family, but Jesus took this a step further. He did the unthinkable. Jesus died for His enemies.
The Apostle Paul writes, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NASB, 2020).
How amazing is it that Christ loves us despite ourselves? Our natural inclination is bent towards sin (Romans 3:23).
Our whole lives have been consumed with neglecting God and doing things our own way. Even as Christians, we still wrestle with sinful desires and priorities (Romans 7:15-20).
Quite literally, Jesus is the only man (also fully God) who had no predisposition to sin against God. Therefore, without sin, Jesus did not deserve to die (Romans 6:23).
So… we can sit back, applaud and praise Jesus for His good works and acts of compassion. In fact, it is good to worship God for who He is and what He has done.
However, our job is not over after we verbally praise Christ. He is calling us to live in the same manner as He did.
Compassion starts with pointing others to Jesus. Timothy George writes, “We share the incredibly good news of Jesus Christ out of our own beggarly neediness, pointing men and women everywhere to the unspeakable gift of God’s overcoming grace and all-sufficient love.”
Jesus used every healing and miracle as an opportunity to share the gospel. The miracles themselves were great, but they would mean significantly less if they didn’t point people to God.
We want to meet the physical needs of people all around the world (clean drinking water, food, shoes, medicine, etc.). Most importantly, these are opportunities to share the gospel with those in need.
People don’t need to accept the gospel to receive help, but they will likely be willing to hear it.
Meeting physical needs is temporary. Even Lazarus eventually died again!
If we want to make a lasting impact, tell people about Jesus. Life in Christ is abundant and forever; it doesn’t fade.
Pray and look for opportunities to show compassion to people in your community and around the globe. If you have no love for the needy or hurting, then pray for God to give you eyes to see how precious people are. All persons are image-bearers of the Most High.
After all, Christ would not have devoted His earthly ministry to expressing love and compassion towards others if it were not of extreme importance. Let’s follow His example, as He equips us to do so.
“Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, NASB, 2020).