“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, compassionate, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
When we look at the life of Jesus we see a common thread showing up before many of His miracles. The words: “and he was moved with compassion”. Before he fed the 5000, he was moved with compassion because they had been fasting 3 days. Before he gave sight to the two blind men that cried out to him, he was moved with compassion over their condition and treatment. Before he raised the widows dead son, he was moved with compassion for her grieving. Through out the miracle ministry of Jesus the one thing that unlocked His healing virtue more then anything was “compassion.”
“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.” – Matthew 9:36
It is no different for you and me today, after all it is the same Jesus that lives on the inside of us and His healing virtue is still available to us yet we do not see it unleashed enough (I fear) for a lack of compassion. Now we know that not every situation is the same and some miracles have a timing to their releasing. Like the one that triggered revival in Jerusalem after Christ’s ascension. Some were for the glory of God, the miracles coming to validate the message and (in Jesus’ case) the messenger. Yet did the overwhelming majority of Jesus’ recorded miracles come simply because of compassion and it is compassion that many in the body are lacking.
I can remember a time when I had a severe foot injury that had rendered my walk slow, labored, and painful for years. One night at a service I was overwhelmed with compassion for a young single father in a wheelchair trying to raise two small daughters on his own. I wanted so badly for the Lord to heal him that night. I cried out to the Lord with all of my heart and I felt His healing virtue flow. I just knew that if he had the faith to but stand, he would walk! Sadly he never did. I walked back to my seat heart broken for him. So distracted by my prayer for God to heal his walk that I did not even notice that he had healed mine. My limp was gone, the pain was gone, the fused bones now moved freely. There had been compassion and their had been a healing.
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” – Luke 7:13
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” – Psalms 51:17
One of the greatest marvels of the Christian Faith is that our God chose to humble himself to come and live among us as one of the least of us that He might experience every hardship that we do and more. And in doing so has increased the compassion in His already merciful heart toward us. All that Jesus endured makes Him all the more understanding, patient, and approachable with our frailties. He gets it. He really gets us. He has compassion because of his experience as a man, facing heartbreak, weariness, pain, and temptation. And that compassion drives Him to petition the Father on our behalf to release the grace that we need to overcome the things that break us down.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16
“But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” – Isaiah 49:14-16
While Jesus’ experiences of hardship have caused Him to grow more compassionate, we tend to do the opposite. Jesus was already perfect and was mistreated and somehow still managed to become better because of it. We were far from perfect, probably a lot closer to worthless, God redeemed us, forgave us of all our sins and offenses, and others (by the leading of His Spirit) forgave us also! They welcomed us in, made us feel like part of the family, trusted us to be part of their army, and then the battles came and we started to change, but not for the better like Jesus did. We began to loose our compassion.
Attacks, disappointments, betrayals, slanderers, manipulators, users, heart breakers, every scar making our hearts harder. It’s time to sit and talk with Jesus. He knows all about those scars. Show Him yours and He will show you His. Tell Him how they caused yours and He will tell you how you caused His, yet still He continued pursuing you, even unto death.
Take a moment to remember all that He has endured for you, all that He has loved you through, of all the things that He has forgiven you, and watch compassion return to you. He did it for us, we can do it for them too. We can forgive, we can try again, we can be broken over the rebellion of the deceived and dying. We can war for them, we can weep for them, we can pour out our hearts in intercession for them yet again like Moses and Jesus did. We can unlock healing for both us and for them, when we repent of our woundedness, weariness, hardness, and offenses; and ask humbly, “Lord, as you forgave us, we now forgive them, please give us a heart of compassion again”.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” – 1 Peter 3:8-11
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” – Colossians 3:12-15
“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:” – Zechariah 7:9