New Hope Church

Day 12 – Lenten Devotional


When Jesus felt compassion, He acted to relieve the helpless
Matthew 20:34   “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”

When the word compassion is used in the gospel accounts of Jesus life there is never a case where Jesus felt compassion, but did not act.  Is compassion without action really compassionate? Jesus did not demonstrate compassionless compassion.  Compassionless compassion cancels out to mean nothing!  True compassion is sensitivity and consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

The gospel of Matthew chapters eight and nine are filled with miracles by Jesus; healing the blind, the mute, the paralytic, the leprous, even stilled a storm.  At the end of chapter nine, Scripture shares a reason for Jesus works…His compassion. Matthew 9:36,When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus had compassion and acted to alleviate others’ distress.

What do we learn from the compassion of Christ?  Jesus teaches us that compassion without action is meaningless.  Jesus knew the needs of others around Him.  All of His miracles of compassion have their spiritual equivalence. Sight to the blind is now a beloved hymn, healing a sick body is the spiritual healing we need to be part of the body of Christ, receiving food ex nihilo (out of nothing) is the heavenly food we need from the bread of life!

God the Father’s compassion for His people is the grace-filled sending of His Son to reconcile believers back to Himself.  Grace-filled compassion was always in the Father’s plan. Consider David’s plea in Psalm 51:1, 1,000 years before Christ, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”  Jesus IS compassion, Jesus feels compassion and acts to alleviate the distress around Him eternally through His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection.
Wrap your mind around the supernatural compassion of our Creator who comes to earth incarnate God full of compassion, sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate itHis plan of salvation.

REPENT:  Change your ways. Confess your compassionless compassion. Don’t be fooled into thinking when God puts you in the path of others distress feeling sorry for them is good enough…you are to go into action!

RESTORE:   It is a wonder how our Holy God works through fragile human beings to further his Word and work.  Compassionate children of God imitate our compassionate Christ by boldly and sincerely offering others the bread of life.

Ephesians 5:1-2   “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Pastor Tom Bellhy