Cover 2015-05-10

Ron Writes

Compassion

As I began to write about our “Compassion Ministry,” I felt the necessity to write about the compassion of Jesus. On many occasions, it is said of Jesus that “He was moved with compassion.” He was moved by a strong emotion coming from deep within him. When he saw the misfortune of others, he was deeply moved.

Another word used of our Lord is sympathy, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15). The word “sympathy” translates the Greek, Sympatheo, from Sym (with) and patheo (to feel). As we struggle in this life, Jesus is able to feel with us.

These words remind us that when Jesus looks at us, he sees the sickness, grieving and pain, but he is also emotionally moved to commiserate with us. He is able to look beyond our weaknesses and see us as hurting individuals. Jesus sees us as individuals who have names, families, a history and hopes for the future. Those who lack compassion are unable to see a real person, deeply feel for them and emotionally invest in their wellbeing.

Jesus didn’t merely see leprosy, or demon possession, or blindness, or lameness, he saw hurting individuals. He came for us individually and personally. About sixteen hundred years ago, this knowledge led Augustine to write, “If you were the only person on earth, Christ would have still suffered and died for you.”

It is too easy to see others as mere objects. We can see clerks, policemen, postal workers, gas station attendants, food servers and all those we meet each day without looking beyond with compassion. We must not think of them as people who are put there to assist us or annoy us, but they are individuals who have names, families and lives, cares and concerns and loved ones who think highly of them. The sex trade and porn would cease to exist if men stopped looking with merely their lusts, saw with compassion women who have names, families, loved ones, hopes, and dreams, but who have been reduced by the maze of life that has misdirected them. The murderer and the thief only see a victim, and fail to see an individual. Hearts immersed with compassion look beyond the exterior.

“Does Jesus care, when my heart is pained, too deeply for mirth and song? When the burdens press and the cares distress, as the day grows weary and long?” OH, YES! He cares, I know He cares; His heart is touched with my grief.”