Stirring Up CompassionBro. Ron Rupé
1/11/2009 6:00 PM
As children of God, we have compassion, but sometimes we need help in how to show it. Compassion – suffering with another; sympathy; pity; sorrow for the distress or misfortunes of another with the desire to help. Compassion should move us to action.
As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.
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. 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. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
"But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them…" Jesus came to do the Father’s will. He was motivated by more than duty; he was motivated by compassion. What he saw stirred his compassion. It was how he saw them that stirred his compassion. (See Ephesians 2:2-3.) This wasn’t how he saw the multitudes; he saw them as without strength, fainting, scattered, forsaken and having no shepherd. Jesus didn’t approve of or condone or excuse their sin. He knew they needed salvation, but his attitude caused him to come to save, not condemn. (See John 3:17.)
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had not leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. 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.
"And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him." Note the desperation of the people. For many of these people, Jesus was their last desperate hope: for the blind, the leper, the maimed. There was no other hope. Jesus was moved by the sight.
"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." Jesus saw they needed someone to teach and lead them, so he began to teach them. He was moved to teach.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
"But speaking the truth in love…" This is how Jesus taught. He looked; he had compassion; he taught. What kind of words do you think compassion inspired Jesus to speak? We’ve all experienced and spoken angry words at some point in life. What kind of words are compassionate words?
The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they say Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.
What Jesus heard and saw stirred a response in him. "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled." When Jesus saw her and the others weeping, "he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled." When they took him to the tomb, what he saw caused him to weep. Weeping – an outward, vocal, wailing cry. When Jesus wept, the word was a very inward grief. "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" The answer is, "yes." "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it." What he saw and heard stirred his compassion.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
If the love of God is gushing out, how can we shut that up? With Mary and Martha, the love of God came gushing out. The love of God can’t be shut up in us, if it’s there.
2 Corinthians 5:8-14
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God; or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord; we persuade men…" God does not condone sin, and one day unrepented sin must be punished. The love of God in us should move us to warn others and persuade them to salvation.
"For the love of Christ constraineth us…" The love of Christ compels us, as we know people and are friends with them, to want to save them. It teaches us how to reach out to others. What you see depends on what kind of eyes you look through. The kind of eyes you have depends on what is shed abroad in you.
Matthew 25:31-40; Isaiah 50:4
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he weakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
Compassion would cause us to inspire faith and hope to lead others to peace.
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.
Sometimes the children of God are hindered from working for God. The questions that hinder will be answered by the love of God rising up in you. Just go and see and hear and be moved by compassion. Let God speak through you. There is a work for all of us.