Compassion

One of the beautiful qualities Jesus modeled was compassion. Again and again he had compassion on people: on the lost and needy crowds (Matt 9:36), on the sick (Matt 14:14), like the two blind men who wanted to see (Matt 20:34), and on those who grew hungry listening to Jesus teach (Matt 15:32).

One of the most touching scenes is Jesus’ encounter with a grieving widow in Luke 7:11–13. This woman had already buried her husband. Now her only son had also died, and was being carried to his grave. “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

Wouldn’t it make an amazing difference in our hurting world if we had compassion like Jesus?

Compassion is love for the needy and suffering in which we experience their pain as painful to us. Because we love them, their suffering matters to us and influences our feelings. Does your heart go out to the needy? Ask the Lord to make you tender toward those who are hurting.

But compassion is more than a feeling; it also involves thinking. Virtuous emotions involve beliefs and judgments. Jesus had compassion for the widow because he understood the relation between mothers and sons. We need to work to understand the needs of those around us.

Compassion also involves doing what you can to address suffering. Every time Jesus had compassion on someone, he immediately acted to help. He cured the sick (Matt. 14: 14; Mark 1: 40– 42). He provided food (Matt. 15: 32– 38; Mark 8: 1– 9). He healed the blind men (Matt. 20: 29– 34). He raised the dead (Luke 7: 14– 15).

Who needs compassion in your life? Ask the Lord to help you feel, think, and act on their behalf with his supernatural compassion.