Moved with Compassion

Matthew 9:36 – 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.

Matthew 14:14 – And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Mark 1:41 – And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Luke 19:41 – And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.

John 11:35 – Jesus wept.

The heart of Jesus must have deeply impressed those who were His eye-witnesses, so much so that all four Gospels record instances of Him being “moved” with compassion and even weeping. He, being God in the flesh, was truly a Man of sorrows, a humble servant of all, a compassionate friend of mankind, and while we read of such numerous instances when He was thus moved with Godly sorrow, we read of no reported instances where He laughed. As He Himself said, “Blessed are those who mourn”. He bore the pain, infirmities, sicknesses, and sins of mankind and carried our burdens upon His own back. What a blessed Savior!

Many times we should be lamenting instead of laughing, fasting instead of feasting, mourning our own sins rather than scorning the faults of others, suffering to carry the Gospel to the lost rather than having a merry time in selfish, fleshly entertainment. Have we no sense of this compassion that was in our Lord which drove Him to go to the cross to bleed? Have we no sense of the gravity of man’s sin and sorrow? Have we no sense of Godly sorrow, no sense of brokenness, no sense of poverty of spirit, no sense of grieving over the sins around us? Where is the heart of Jesus among us today?

We read that Jesus was “moved with compassion”. Those three words, “moved with compassion” come from just one single Greek word: splagchnizomai. Thayer’s defines it: “to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion”. In other words, this was not just an intellectual acknowledgement of the sorrow and sad state of mankind, and it was not just a mental idea of someone’s pain that leads to the common phrase, “I know what you must be going through”. This was a deep, inward stirring of emotion that actually moved the Lord to action. It was a deep emotional feeling of understanding, identification, and pity that sprung from His heart of love for mankind and led Him to do something about it. His being “moved with compassion” was not just a result of His omniscience in knowing what people were going through, but it was a result of His heart of love in desiring to bring salvation, healing, restoration, freedom, and blessing to people’s lives.

This is the compassion that caused Him in His humanity to weep over Jerusalem when foreseeing its’ coming doom at the judgment of God, longing to show mercy even to the worst of sinners. This reveals to us the heart of Christ. He is meek and lowly in heart and invites sinners to come to Him and learn from Him. He comes down to the level of sinners with longsuffering, teaching with patience and grace, relating to them on their level. He heals the sicknesses and infirmities of sinners and liberates them from Satanic bondage. He blesses the poor and lowly and offers salvation to those who feel they least deserve it. He forgives the sins of repentant prostitutes and murderers and restores those who have a broken heart. He dwells with those of a contrite spirit, making His house with the most humble and lowly. This is the heart of Christ, and we better never forget it!

Is the same mind that was in Jesus in us today? Do we have the heart of God? Do we demonstrate to the lost world the mercy, compassion and love of God? Do we find ourselves moved with compassion, not just with a drop of moisture in our eye but with a deep stirring of our hearts that causes us to take action and stand up to be the instruments of God’s healing, restoration,  and salvation to those around us? It is a tragedy if we attempt to finish the work that Jesus came to do by carrying the Gospel to the ends of the earth if we lack the same compassion He had which moved Him to do it. Let us not be moved by money, by pride, by recognition from men, but let us be moved by the love of God in our hearts.


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