Jesus was often moved with compassion for those in need. Will you learn from His example?
During Jesus Christ’s lifetime as a human being, He was often deeply moved with compassion for people who were sick, blind, crippled, hungry, or suffering from other problems, such as demon possession or grief over the death of a loved one. He was sincerely concerned about the suffering of others. We find many examples of Jesus’ compassion in the Bible, including instances when He was even moved to tears. Jesus’ compassion for people and their suffering was one of His many perfect character traits.
Learning and growing in Christ-like compassion is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have lost jobs and are struggling to buy food. Others have lost friends or family members, or even their own lives. Now is a good time to feel compassion for others as Jesus did.
One of my favorite examples of Jesus showing compassion is recorded in Matthew 20:29–34. This passage describes the time Jesus was leaving Jericho as a large group followed Him. As Jesus and the people walked, they passed by two blind men sitting by the road. When the two men realized Jesus was in the group walking by, they cried out for Him to have mercy on them and to heal them (seemingly, they had already heard of Jesus and His power to heal). Some people in the crowd warned them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more. They desperately asked to be healed because they believed that Jesus could relieve them of their blindness. Verses 32–34 describe a very special moment: “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, that our eyes may be opened.’ So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”
The men longed for their eyes to be opened and to receive relief from their suffering. As Jesus heard their cry for help, He was moved with compassion, and then He acted on that compassion. For the rest of their lives, the two men probably told that story hundreds of times.
The Bible records many other examples of Jesus having compassion for the sick, blind, lame, and suffering. For instance, Luke 7:11–15 tells of His entering the city of Nain and coming upon a funeral procession. The grieving woman in the group had previously lost her husband, and now had lost her only son, and the funeral was for him. Moved by His compassion for the lonely widow (v. 13), Christ touched the open coffin and commanded the dead young man to rise—which he did, immediately sitting up and speaking. Jesus then presented the resurrected young man to his mother, who likely felt restored to life herself. Of course, this is just one example of many.
Christ taught and lived the “heart and soul” of the Way of God, which was to help and care for others, especially those in greatest need (Matthew 25:31–46; James 1:27).
Jesus was not a distant, detached Savior. He had great empathy—the ability to truly understand and share the feelings of others. Knowing beforehand that He would raise Lazarus from the grave, Jesus still wept when Mary lamented before Him (John 11:28–44). He cared deeply about how people felt, how they were suffering, and the details of their lives. He still does (Hebrews 4:15).
The coronavirus has caused much sickness and suffering. Jesus’ example should stir our own compassion, and motivate us to offer help, support, encouragement, and prayers for those in need. This will help us get a little closer to achieving the goal of developing Jesus Christ’s beautiful and compassionate mind (Philippians 2:5).