By Jay Pearson

Sometimes we find it easier to have compassion for our friends when they are in need as opposed to strangers. Looking up "Compassion," I was surprised by these definitions:

1. A deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering. 
2. The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

The part "wanting to do something about it" drew my attention. Was it enough to want to do something about it? I often have sympathy for friends' sufferings, but even then, not so much for strangers. I’ve read in the Word that we are to have compassion on our brothers. We really don’t know or select who are going to be our brothers. We can share words of salvation and healing, but God saves and heals. God calls, we only answer. This makes me consider the "whosoever" in John 3:16:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Anyone could be my potential spiritual brother, and yours too. This thought made me want to look at compassion more closely in the Word of God.

Zechariah 7:9
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

I didn’t see any "if’s" in this command. We should just do it. Jesus was moved with compassion toward people even when he knew they were not going to follow him or keep his commandments. Being moved with compassion takes the "wanting to do something about it" to the next level. Jesus was moved with compassion and did something about it in each case. Here is an example of a leper who came to him.

Mark 1:40
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

From this scripture we don’t know who the leper thought Jesus was really. It was obvious the man was aware of what was going on in his neighborhood. Many people all around the area were being healed of sickness and disease and the casting out of devils. We only know that this man knew Jesus was a man with the power to heal him. This leper believed that Jesus could do the job. The leper was interested in being cleansed. Now Jesus did something about it.

Mark 1:41-42
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Jesus cleansed the man of his leprosy. Jesus knew what this man would do with his healing, yet he ministered to him anyway. He also gave the man two commandments that he knew he would not keep. But the man was given a choice beyond his healing out of Jesus' compassion.

Mark 1:43-45
43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

Jesus was moved with compassion and gave this leper the temporal healing that the man specifically ask for. But I’m confessing now that I have chosen who I would have compassion for with bias and without asking the Lord. I want to change that and follow the Lord’s example.

When Jesus moved with compassion doing his Father's will, many would just run off with their healing without giving any thanks. Jesus ministered to ten lepers and only one returned to give thanks. That man was a stranger and not an Israelite.

Luke 17:11-18
11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

I’m seeing the need to open my heart to show compassion without scrutinizing the person or having an agenda in mind. Compassion is the Lord’s will. The compassion I am to show is not about me, but for them. I hope that this is helpful for you also.

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

Jesus had compassion on this great multitude. That evening Jesus instructed his disciples to feed them. This is the account of the 5,000 he fed. He did this knowing full well the reason they would continue to follow him. In John, one verse after the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus testifies to this.

John 6:26
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Jesus had compassion on these people just as God had compassion on those he led out of Israel by the hand of Moses. God fed them for 40 years while they rebelled and complained against him. This same God and his Son Jesus Christ have compassion on us during our trials.

Malachi 3:6
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Jesus has given us an example of how to love one another and have compassion. Jesus was one to do something about it.

action heroes

I have a sweatshirt my daughter gave me for Christmas that shows all the movie action heroes gathered around Jesus and he is saying, “And that is how I saved the world.”

Jesus is the Lord of action. He gets it done. He is our example. But before you run off in a frenzy, remember an important truth: Without him, we can do nothing.


John 15:5
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

May we be moved with compassion for our brothers and do something about it in the Lord.


Presented July 15, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana