Compassion

A primary expression of compassion is simply to pray for one another.
Jesus did. When Jesus walked this earth, He prayerfully walked in compassion for the people He met.  When they were hungry, He knew it and He fed them.  When they were sick or impaired, He healed them.  When they wanted to know the truth, He wrapped eternal things in temporal stories with characters they recognized even if the truth the parables told were beyond their understanding.

Each of the gospel writers comments on the compassion of Christ in some way.

  • Matthew says that Jesus healed people out of compassion while
  • Mark comments that compassion prompted Jesus’ teaching.
  • Luke describes Jesus feeling for a woman whose son had died as compassion.
  • John uses the word love while quoting Jesus as He described a most compassionate love for those who followed Him.

As we think of the day before us, let us think of the compassion of Christ.  In the gospel accounts Jesus had compassion on people because they were in pain, they were ignorant of the words of life, and because their lives were full of devastating losses.  He called a few people out of the crowd to follow Him, to hear His words, to know Him personally, and to experience the wonder of His presence.

All of this compassion was spent on His way to the cross.  In the garden, in the courts of men, in the streets of Jerusalem, and on the summit of Mt. Calvary, Jesus collected all the compassion He had demonstrated in three years of public ministry and poured it upon a fallen earth.  His holy blood flowed freely that day and His compassion still flows freely today.  Because the sacrifice is complete, the work finished, the veil in the Temple torn, the tomb vacant and empty, and because the Spirit has been given, His compassion has reached us.  In the words of Paul, God demonstrated His compassion for us by sending Jesus, not just to heal and teach, but to atone for our sins with His own sinless blood.

A Community of Compassion
Now, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by virtue of the New Covenant in His blood, we must let His compassion flow through us to the healing of the nations, the telling of the truth, and the resurrection of the sin-dead hearts of people.  We must have compassion for our brothers and sisters, who are also purchased by His blood.  We cannot let petty arguments divide the generations in the household of faith.  We must be known by our compassion for each other, a fellowship of divine love extended down from heaven and throughout the community by the touch of Jesus’ compassionate hand.

Prayer is compassion!
We cannot hate those for whom we pray. The people we pray for grow in value to us as we call their names to the Lord. Freely we have received His compassion, let us also freely share it with others in pray, words and deeds.

A primary expression of compassion is simply to pray for one another.

Scriptures:
Matthew 14:14
When Jesus … saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Mark 6:34
… he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Luke 7:13-15
When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother
John 15:9-12 NKJV
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-6
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
Romans 5:6-9 6
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
Colossians 3:12-14
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to follow Your example of the prayer-filled life of compassion. I have received so much from You, help me be a channel of Your grace to others. I have been given much and I know that because of this much is required of me. Help me be faithful today to share Your love with others. When I am tempted to dislike someone, help me turn my displeasure with them into a prayer for them. This is a you command in the mountaintop sermon; let it be so in my life today. Thank You, Lord! Amen.

Song:
Make me a Blessing
Words: Ira B. Wilson; Music: George S. Schuler

1. Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Refrain:
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.

2. Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,
Tell of His pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True, every moment you live.

Refrain

3. Give as ’twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s