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Luke 7: 13

When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.”

I have lately been strongly impressed with the importance of compassion in Christ’s ministry and his personality. There are seventeen places in the New Testament which speak about compassion. That is a significant number of entries. It turns out that Jesus got his compassion from his father. Romans 9: 15 reads, “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” The point is that compassion is a behavioral and personality characteristic which is important to our heavenly father. 

The dictionary defines compassion as “the deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another in the inclination to give aid or support, or to show mercy.” Wow! That is a powerful ideology and doesn’t it sound exactly like Jesus? Now we see why so many times the scriptures say that Jesus was “moved” by compassion. Compassion is not the same as pity. Compassion invokes action. When we look again at Romans 9: 15, where Yahweh is talking about showing mercy and compassion, we can now comprehend that His compassion stimulated Him to action. Because of His great compassion He moves on our behalf. 

In today’s verse we see that Jesus felt compassion for a woman. If we will read one verse more we will find that he then did something. He didn’t just feel sad for her and say, “Oh, I am so sorry for your suffering.” He did something. He raised her son, restoring him from death to life. Okay, that is doing something!

Compassion, encouragement, love, acceptance, forgiveness and forbearance, these are the bricks and mortar of Christianity. It isn’t in how many Bible verses you can quote. It isn’t in how much service you offer at church. The life of Christ in you is seen in how you extend the love of God to those around you. I see so clearly today how Jesus comes along side us and is filled with joy when we, out of the overflow of our hearts, express his essential nature. This isn’t something we do. It actually is allowing the life of Christ within you, his nature, his compassion, to flow out from you. It is a living testimony of the love of Christ in his people. And it is how you evangelize the world and disciple nations. Let Christ in all his glory be expressed through you.

Do you want to find the real church leaders, the one’s that the Holy Spirit recognizes? Go look for those people who reach out from themselves with compassion and encouragement. Look at who is actually praying for others rather than talking about it or discussing doctrine. See who responds when news is received. Who picks up the phone and calls just to offer an encouraging word or a prayer? Who is it that always seems to find a way to bless their friends, neighbors and even people they don’t know? Those are the true leaders in the body of Christ. They are not always the celebrated in the earth but the angels know their names. God bless you, the encouragers, the compassionate, the beloved.

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