The Compassion of Jesus

by DanWolgemuth on August 11, 2006

Compassion is inconvenient and often intrusive.  It lays claim to our attention and engages our heart.  It suggests, in unavoidable terms, that we get involved. It climbs the sharp cliffs of selflessness.

This is the pattern of Jesus, and it was often demonstrated at the pinnacle of demand; when Jesus was the most obliged to thoughts of convenience.  He returned the volley of an inquisitive and needy throng with personal, specific, and sacrificial involvement.

Touched by a hemorrhaging woman, He engaged… Matthew 9.

Confronted by a leprous man, He touched… Matthew 8.

Interrupted while preaching, He commended and then healed… Mark 2.

During the most intense ministry schedule, He empathized… Matthew 9.

Without solicitation, He got involved… Luke 7.

In the face of opposition, He risked… John 5.

A hungry wave of groupies, He welcomed, and fed… Luke 9.

And yes, Jesus always blended His compassion with liberal doses of grace and truth. He offered healing and hope. It was sympathy and solutions.  It was temporal and eternal.

So now you understand the pain in my soul when I walked into the Anaheim Convention Center where roughly 6,000 students and adults gathered to hear the compassionate and transformational message of Jesus as part of our DCLA 2006 conference… and I encountered a small group of individuals who were holding signs and confronting young people with caustic and confrontational words.  Under the banner of Christianity these individuals chastised, condemned and criticized.  Compassion, even for young people, was displaced by argument and debate.  It was venomous, but it was isolated, and moments later it was overcome by the power of God’s Word and the living reality of His compassion.

I was there when all around the massive convention center, broken, wounded, lonely, and desperate individuals stood to their feet in an honest plea for help. I was there when compassion ruled.  I was there when mercy won.  I was there when grace flourished.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them,
because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a
~ Matthew 9:36

May we be like Jesus…

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