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What the Bible says about Compassion of Jesus Christ
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 14:13-21

Christ's miracle of feeding the five thousand is unique in that it is the only one that all four gospel writers mention (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). It illustrates Jesus' authority over nature and His divine intervention on behalf of others, showing that He is concerned about both humans' physical and spiritual needs.

Jesus is moved with compassion at the sight of thousands of people who had made a great effort to hear His message of hope. Although He is tired after a long day, He embraces the opportunity to teach them and heal the sick among them. As evening descends, His disciples suggest that the hungry crowd be disbanded to seek necessary food from the surrounding villages, but Jesus has something else in mind.

To test Phillip's faith, He asks him how the people could be fed. Not only does Philip learn a lesson of faith, but all of the disciples learn that true faith must rely on divine resources, not physical and material ones. Phillip begins to tally all of the meager supplies the disciples had among them, and somewhat stymied, says, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them." One denari was a day's wage at the time.

Then Andrew tells Jesus, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish." Yet, because of their lack of faith, the disciples cannot see any possibility of feeding the great multitude with their scarce funds and the scanty food on hand. However, faith enables us to see that with the omnipotent God, all things are possible.

This miracle is a magnificent act of creative power. No amount of human reasoning can reduce this miracle to a natural phenomenon. Indeed, complete understanding of miracles is beyond human capability to understand. By an act of His own creative power, Jesus revealed proof of His deity to thousands.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part One)

Matthew 14:14

Jesus is "moved with compassion" when He sees the needy multitudes exhausted and wandering like sheep that had been tattered from cruel fleecing. Twice He is "moved with compassion" when He sees the hungry multitudes without food (Matthew 14:14; 15:32). The two blind men (Matthew 20:34) and the leper (Mark 1:41) also stir His compassion, as does the sorrow of the widow at Nain (Luke 7:13).

In addition, Jesus uses the word translated "compassion" in three of His parables: The king has compassion on his bankrupt servant and forgives him his debt, showing how we should forgive one another (Matthew 18:21-35). The Samaritan has compassion on the Jewish victim and cares for him in love (Luke 10:25-37). Finally, the father has compassion on his rebellious son (Luke 15:20).

We, too, should show compassion toward others. Compassion, a fundamental and distinctive quality of God, is literally "a feeling with and for others." It lies at the foundation of Israel's faith in God because, in an act of compassion, He delivered them from slavery and called them to be His own people. His compassion does not fail (Lamentations 3:22). Jesus teaches that it should be extended, not only to friends and neighbors, but to all, even to our enemies.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)

Mark 5:35-37

As Jesus walks to Jairus' home, a friend informs Jairus of the sad news, "Your daughter is dead." In the Greek, "dead" is placed first for emphasis; it literally reads, "Dead is your daughter." Such a statement would have been devastating, but being in Christ's presence gave the grief-stricken father hope. Jesus is seen as the Encourager. He is willing, even eager, to help the sick and dying. Though He refuses to flaunt His power, He is quick to glorify the God of powerful healing.

As soon as Jesus overhears the news, He intervenes to curb the fear welling up in the brokenhearted father, countering with encouragement: "Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well." With a word of hope, He changes the father's focus, and with gentleness and compassion, comforts him. In II Corinthians 5:5-7, the apostle Paul assures us that our consolation abounds through Christ.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Resurrecting Jairus' Daughter

Luke 7:13

In six of the approximately 33 miracles of Christ, His compassion is specifically mentioned as a factor. Besides this one, the miracles that speak of His compassion include the feeding of the 5,000 (Matthew 14:14), the feeding of the 4,000 (Matthew 15:32), the healing of the two blind men (Matthew 20:34), the healing of the leper (Mark 1:41), and the exorcism of the demons in Gadara (Mark 5:19). His compassion is present in every miracle He performed, but only in these six is it mentioned.

Jesus was the most compassionate of all mankind (Hebrews 4:15). Often when things do not go well for some people, they complain that Christ does not care. Yet, that complaint is unjustified: Scripture shows abundantly that He does care—a great deal more than we realize. It is not Christ who is uncaring, but humans. We lack compassion for God the Father, for His Son, and for one another.

When Jesus has compassion on the widow, saying, "Do not weep," He is not merely asking her to cheer up. Instead, it is a foreshadowing of His power. He will remove the cause of her tears and simultaneously give His disciples a preview of God wiping away all tears (Revelation 21:4).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son

Luke 7:13-15

First, He knows all the specifics of the case. His disciples see only a funeral as they pass, but He understands the circumstances of the corpse stretched out in the coffin. He knows that the deceased is a young man, the only son of his mother, and that she is a widow!

Second, He does not wait for anyone to plead with Him. Isaiah prophesies of this in Isaiah 65:1: "I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me" (as quoted in Romans 10:20). Sometimes, before we call for help, He answers—what a special blessing that is (Isaiah 65:24; Daniel 9:20-23).

Third, when He sees the widowed mother, He has "compassion on her." Christ's concern is apparent in His expression of His mercy and tenderness.

Fourth, He says to her, "Do not weep," to provide comfort and encourage her.

Fifth, Jesus is not pretentious when He touches the coffin, but in humility He offers hope (Jeremiah 17:7). The widow thinks that all hope is gone, but even these dire circumstances are not enough to remove the hope found in Christ (Lamentations 3:26). Christ also shows great tenderness when "He present[s] him to his mother."

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son


 




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