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"Jesus and Compassion"

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Announcements Forums Unreality – April 3rd, 2016 "Jesus and Compassion"

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    I was moved by this week’s story of Jesus’ visit to Naim, where he meets up with a crowded funeral procession. It seems that a woman who is a widow, is mourning the death of her only son. She is in great distress. She is crying. Jesus, seeing her need and sorrow tells her not to weep. Then, we read, that Jesus is moved with “compassion”. He touches the bier where the body lies, which stops the procession. Them, he commands the boy to “Arise”. The boy sits up, alive and well. Then, Jesus lovingly brings him to his mother. What a beautiful story. I can feel Jesus’ heart going out to that woman as he comforts her and restores her son to life. In reading the story, the word “Compassion” jumped out at me. I thought about how the Bible often uses the word “compassion” when referring to Jesus’ healings and teachings. It seems to be a key character trait of Jesus. His love and compassion at times moved him to tears, (the raising of his friend, Lazarus). His compassion is always followed by action. According to Dictionary definitions of compassion, I read that compassion is an emotion which causes one to feel another’s pain or sorrow, but unlike sympathy or empathy, with compassion comes the desire to “do” something, (take action), to relieve another’s suffering. In many instances you can read of this unique character trait of Jesus. The following came to my mind:

    When Jesus looks upon the multitudes of people coming to be healed by him, Jesus says to his disciples, “they are like sheep without a Shepard.” In another instance, before he feeds the multitudes, he says to his disciples, (I paraphrase), “I have compassion for these people. They have been with me for three days with nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they may faint.”
    In Matthew 20:34 Jesus heals two blind men. The verse reads, “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.”
    In Mark 1:40 Jesus has compassion on a leper. The leper comes falling in front of Jesus and begs to be healed. He says to Jesus, “If you are willing you can make me clean.” The Bible goes on to say that, Jesus, filled with compassion, reaches out and touches the leper’s hand. He says, “I am willing, be clean!” It was probably a very long time that the leprous man had felt a loving, warm, soft hand touching his diseased flesh.
    Also, we see in Jesus’ teachings through his parables, that compassion is a key quality. We see this in the loving compassion of the Good Samaritan. It is compassion that reaches out, tends to the unfortunate man’s wounds, puts him on his donkey, takes him to an inn, leaves the inn-keeper with silver coins to cover expenses and assures the inn-keeper and man he will return to see if there is anything more he can do.
    The other story that comes to my mind is the parable of the Prodigal Son. When the wayward son returns home, the father, runs to meet him. He embraces him, kisses him, and showing great compassion, welcomes him home.

    It was said during one of our Roundtable discussions that in order to be healed, we must be humble. Without humility, there is no healing. It seems clear, there must be compassion if one is to heal. There must be a great love which is compelled to reach out to whomever is in need. We must follow the example of Jesus, and walk with him. If we are to call ourselves Christians, and make a difference in this world, practice “compassion”.


    Thank you for citing all these examples of Jesus’ compassion, and the compassion of the Good Samaritan, and the father of the Prodigal Son; all examples of love in action, love reflecting Love. All these instances happened long ago, but the lessons they teach are timeless — know one, good God, and man as His reflection; practice the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you; do not be put off or dismayed by erroneous pictures, but correct each lie with the truth; be still, and ask God to lead you in the right way; and love, love, love more. These are all things that I am learning in this church, and it’s enabling me to more and more put love in action!


    I like to think of compassion as unselfed love which can never be turned off. A divine quality, as opposed to the “human” concept of love which is often possessive, selfish, and turns on and off. Compassion heals, whereas the human concept of love does not. Mrs. Eddy emphasizes this in S&H: “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” Love with a capital “L” signifying God, divine Love. Good reminder that without Love in our heart, nothing we do or say really matters.

    Paul uses the word which is translated into “charity” to express this same truth, devoting an entire chapter in his letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 13) to its importance.


    I am grateful to learn that without the humility which acknowledges no self apart from God, we cannot be the reflection of the Love which is always compassionate.


    Thank You all for expanding on my post. All very good points to take note of, hold close to our heart and Never forget! (I loved this lesson, thank you writer.)


    I am grateful for these posts on compassion. My concept before coming to Plainfield was far from what I am learning here. It was more on the level of sympathy, definitely a personal sense and do goody definition. I got so that I had to define it more by what it wasn’t so as to break the habits I had developed. I constantly need to check my motives. It was surprising how many negative attitudes I entertained while thinking I was being caring. (such as judgement, control, impatience, self righteousness, fear) I am learning compassion may mean you have to let other people struggle in order for them to learn important lessons. Defining it as unselfed and requiring humility in order for one to be a reflection of God’s love, which is always compassionate, makes so much sense. All this time I was seeing it as a human quality. Without God it got me into lots of trouble and heartache.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by spencel.
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Love is the liberator.