To Have the Compassion of Jesus: Part 5
For over a month now we have been studying having the compassion of Jesus. Though we could go a lot further with this in many different areas, I think we are supposed to move on to something else. Today I am going to conclude this study with some of the things that we have already covered, but there will be some new scriptures.
First, let’s start with what compassion means and do you have it, and what does it mean to you in your life. Have you felt someone was being compassionate towards you lately? Do you feel compassionate towards others more than you want them to feel compassionate towards you? Why do you feel the way you do?
Let’s look at a verse we used at the beginning of this series. Please turn to 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.
If you remember, we looked at the definition of compassion: Compassion means having a sense of deep sympathy and the heartfelt feelings of sorrow for someone hurting physically, mentally or emotionally; an unselfish need to reach out to help relieve the unfortunate misery of a person in need. The feeling of regret and pity, showing a kind, loving attitude.
What kind of compassion did Jesus, our Savior have?
Jesus had the perfect righteous compassion. Let’s look at Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
Jesus was perfect in every way possible and free of carnal sin. (The sin we are born with, dating back to Adam and Eve when they sinned mankind's first sin.) The life of Jesus was not tainted with jealousy or immorality as yours and my lives are. Christ was righteously pure and full of positive faith because He was doing the perfect will of the Father who sent Him to save mankind.
Jesus being perfect had pure unselfish motives when He felt compassion toward others. Unlike the people of the world, Jesus Christ cared more for our lives than He did His own. (His precious sinless life was laid down for our sins at the cross of Calvary.)
Jesus compassionately understood people’s feelings. Let’s turn to Matthew 14:14
Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with (what?) compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.
Jesus was motivated to win souls, (why?) Compassion!
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
John 6:40 And this is the will of Him (God) that sent Me (Jesus), that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus wanted to share the Father’s love, why? Compassion!
John 15:12-14 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Friends, hear me on this. Hear the Holy Spirit. We have to be willing to lay down our lives for others. Not one person should be left on the earth that doesn't have the chance to make the decision to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Nothing in our lives should be more important than that quest. We are in a spiritual war for people's souls and we must not let up one minute or back down. From time to time we may have to withdraw our forces to recoup and heal up our battle wounds and scars, but as soon as we are able to fight, we have to get right back into doing our
righteous duty. Even from a hospital bed people have been led to Jesus, and by opening up your mouth so can you! If we love our fellow mankind then no matter
how badly we get hurt and wounded we must not give up the fight. Satan will throw everything that he can at us but we must not quit. If one door is closed then we strive to walk through another door. We must not always assume that every door closed was Satan's doing but realize that the hand of God is with us leading the way. We just have to trust Him to be doing the right thing even when it seems like He is not. We have to trust and walk by spiritual eyesight and not worldly carnal eyesight.
This past month, Leanna and I could have very easily given up. Between health issues with both of us, loosing my dad hours after I got Leanna home from the hospital, discouragement of sowing money into a site that very few seem to take advantage of, major car repairs, when we seem to be just about getting by, we could have said the heck with it all. But, we know and at times have to remind each other that God is still in control. We keep trusting in Him. That is what we all need to do when we see or hear another brother or sister going through a tough time. That is what Jesus had to do with the disciples when they got down on their faith. We also need to be in prayer for others going through trials or not. It is that important.
Jesus showed compassion with great courage.
I think it was in the second part of this series, I discussed Jesus’ half brother James, preaching to the Jews that were scattered because of fear after Jesus was put to death. Let’s see How Jesus was affected when His chosen people were scattered abroad without a shepherd. Please turn to Mathew 9:36.
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.
Suffering from sin that Satan brought into the world we, as Adam and Eve go through some of the same things. Let’s look at Genesis 3.
Genesis 3:1-7 KJV Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. Let’s look at this word. Subtle: crafty, sly, artful, crafty, deceitful, and treacherous. And notice, the serpent, Satan was already there. Even though in Genesis 2:15-17 says And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Back to Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he (Satan) said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Now this is Satan's plan:
1) He tempts us to doubt and question God's Word.
2) The devil strives to get us to look at the problem rather than God.
3) By making us think that wrong things look easier than what we should do in the Lord’s eyes.
4) Satan affects our emotions by making us feel like a failure.
5) The devil gets us to delay in doing what we know to be right so the job never gets done. He makes us afraid with fear!
6) What is the job at hand for believers? Winning souls for the Kingdom of God!
Have any of you experienced any of these attacks? I can tell you that I have had them just as clearly as can be. Some I have overcome with ease, because of my trust in Jesus. There have been some trials that I still struggle with right now.
Let’s look at how Jesus felt compassion when He saw people who were suffering:
Matthew 9:35 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.
Here is Jesus’ commandment to His followers. Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel
preached to them.
Are we carrying out these commandments? I tell you my brothers and sisters, if you want to see God do miracles in your life, you need to be. We all do. Not just me, but each and every one of us. If you want to know how, let me teach you. Write to me or ask me after this service.
Let’s look at a man possessed being freed of demons.
Mark 5:2-13 KJV And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, (3) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: (4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. (5) And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. (6) But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, (7) And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (8) For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. (9) And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. (10) And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. (11) Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. (12) And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. (13) And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
Praise Jesus my friends. And we, when we are saved, can do the same thing when we have the faith. How do we get that faith? Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God and also by being in prayer.
We can all be casting out demons, healing lepers, raising the dead, laying hands on the blind so that they see, healing the lame, all in the name of Jesus. We also need to have that same compassion as Jesus had and still has today, sitting at the right hand side of God the Father. Jesus did all these things because of His compassion for them, you and for me. Jesus felt compassion at the risk of His very life. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says.
Hebrews 12:2-4 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Friends, this is why we don’t ever give up the fight to win souls. Even though we may at times get wearied in our minds, yet we know that we have not resisted unto death to win souls for the Lord. We should have and use Godly compassion.
Through some of the studies that Leanna and I have shared, I have said that Jesus taught by example of how to be compassionate.
Matthew 9:36-37 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. Jesus taught people to follow Him and teach others how. Mark 6:34 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 taught believers to pray for workers and laborers. Matthew 9:38 KJV Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Here is a major verse. The Lord taught us compassion by giving all He had.
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.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus wants you and me to develop compassion towards others. I can list many times where we are commanded to love our brothers and sisters. Love our spouses. Love our neighbors. Love our enemies. Turn the other cheek. Do unto others as you would like done unto yourself. These are hard things to do with certain people. But do you know what? It can be done if we truly want the compassion that Jesus had. Here is a list how.
A. By constantly dwelling upon His Word filled with spiritual teachings.
1. Read, study, and study some more.
2. Act and live out our lives by the teachings, letting them become a part of
B. Spending time among Godly people.
1. Going to church and attending regularly.
2. Having dinner with believers and getting to know their personal lives and
sharing your faith and testimony.
3. Ministering to their needs and watching their Godly examples.
C. Here is where I truly want to see each and every one of us. Spending time
looking and seeking out the lost and lonely.
1. Getting to know them by inviting them out to lunch and spending time
2. By visiting the nursing homes, hospitals and even grocery stores as well
as jobs. Clubs and classes are excellent places to look.
3. Become aware of anyone that is isolated and lonely like the sick,
disabled or senior citizens not yet in nursing homes.
4. Get to know your neighbor by showing up with a tray of cookies and
invite them over for coffee. Leanna and I at one time shared goodies at
Christmas time with many neighbors.
5. Here is a tough one, but an important one, and Jesus mentioned it. Visit
the jails and minister to prisoners.
These are just a few suggestions, but you know what? If you are serious about doing God’s work, He will guide you with what gift He has given you.
In closing, I really want you to think about these points I am about to bring up. I want you to think about where you are in all of this.
Where are all of the souls that should be saved today after 2,000 years of Bible training? Are people any different today in their desire to reach the lost than they were in Jesus’ time? What keeps us from reaching out with compassion to win souls for the Kingdom of God? Lack of real courage and compassion?
Does the desire to win souls permeate your whole being and when we see people that we strongly sense are lost, do we reach out to minister to their needs? How can we say that we care about the lost when we make no real effort to even try to reach them? How many people truly try to even talk to their neighbors, and who are our neighbors if not all of mankind?
If we become too engrossed with our own problems and comforts, we will never be able to reach out to the lost. Set aside TV and computers for a time and go out of your way to reach the lost. Jesus set the example by going out to the multitudes, didn’t he? Can we believers do anything less with our lives? Should we let comfort keep us from striving to reach out to the unsaved?
We can all pray for the lost and that the Lord will send laborers into the field and I pray that we all do, daily. If we have trouble teaching people, can’t we at least invite people to come to church to be taught? Be an encourager of those who are going out in the field because they will be under demonic attack. They will need to be spiritually covered with all of our prayers. Let compassion to save the lost motivate you into action.
Some of the people were filled with ingratitude and self-centeredness, yet Jesus revealed His compassionate heart when He showed His mercy by feeding and healing them.
Jesus felt a burning desire to save them spiritually, but He knew their immediate needs had to be met first in order to reach their hearts. The eternal needs could then be met after their physical needs were satisfied. Feeding their bodies made the people look with love and become more receptive to receiving the message. In other words they had to trust the messenger first before they could trust the message. The Lord was tired, and yet He placed His own needs and comforts aside to minister to other’s needs. Can we do any differently?
I have learned much these past few months in trusting God. When we go through trials and troubles, the Lord teaches us how to handle problems so that we then have the knowledge and sympathetic compassion to help others. As we see their problems, we remember how we felt and how we were able to make it through. This then opens the door to winning souls for the Kingdom of God, because the Lord can use our painful past to minister healing into the lives of other people. We become the laborers of the Lord harvesting souls for the Kingdom of God.
If we are failing to see people as God does, it is because we haven’t yet learned to develop Godly compassion. Jesus had compassion for those weak in faith and yet He still reached out to save them. He fed the five thousand by taking care of their physical needs first and then their spiritual needs. Find a way to help others first and then you will reach their hearts.
I challenge your attitudes and actions to become motivated to minister with compassion into the lives of people and show them their need to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Start viewing people from a biblical perspective and come to understand the mind of God when it comes to winning souls for His Kingdom. Remember my friends, there may be a finger pointed at each and every one of you, but I have them pointed back at me too. Let’s let God take full control over our entire life and be so on fire for Him that people around us can’t help to take notice and want so badly what we have. Let’s win back what the enemy has stolen from us. It starts with a change in me and you. It starts with prayer. It starts with a deeper relationship with Jesus. It starts with a greater knowledge of God’s word. It starts with a change in our speech. Cursing and blessing. And also starts with a change in our actions. Are you up for the challenge?