Mathew 9 Lesson

Compassion

COMPASSION

The definition of compassion is:

  • Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. ” (Source: Google dictionary)

In Latin, ‘compati’ means to “suffer with.”

Compassion means that someone else’s heartbreak becomes our heartbreak. Another’s suffering becomes our suffering. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor alive during the time of Nazi Germany. About compassion, he said, “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

The word compassion appears twice in Mathew Chapter 9. Consider the following two scriptures:

  1. “Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.’ But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mathew 9:10-13,
  2. “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.  Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” – Mathew 9:35-36

THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

During His time on earth, Jesus was:

  • Arrested,
  • Beaten,
  • Scourged (whipped),
  • Mocked,
  • Rejected,
  • Abandoned,
  • Forsaken,
  • Falsely accused,
  • Spat upon,
  • And crucified on a cross!

He suffered all these things, and yet, He did nothing wrong. If ever there was somebody that had a right to be angry, it was Jesus. But Jesus did not get angry. Instead, He said:

  • “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34.

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of Jesus showing compassion to others. We will look at three such examples now:

  1. Mathew 14:13-14. Jesus had just heard about the beheading of John the Baptist; He went by boat to a secluded place by Himself. “And when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.  When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
  2. Mathew 20:30-34. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.’ Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.”
  3. Luke 7:12-15. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

COMPASSION NOT JUDGMENT

Everyone is suffering from something.Sufferingis a part of life. Some of us may be suffering more than others, but we are all suffering.   God usesadversitytodisciplineus, teach us, and shape us into the people that He created us to be.

Perhaps if we stopped to think about this more often, we would do a better job of showing compassion to one another. As Christians, we are to follow the example of Jesus and show mercy, not compassion to those that are suffering. How much better the world would be if everybody did the same!

CONCLUSION

Everybody is suffering from something. Of course, we can never fully understand their circumstances because we have not walked in their shoes, just like they cannot understand our circumstances.

The next time that we become annoyed, angry, or frustrated, we need to remember the example of Jesus and follow His example of mercy and compassion.

Too often, we want justice for others and mercy for ourselves. That is not how God wants us to be. Consider the following warning from the Book of James:

  • “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James 2:13.

We will end today’s lesson with four Bible verses about compassion:

  1. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32,
  2. “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” -1 Peter 3:8,
  3. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4,
  4. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” - Colossians 3:12.

Comments

James A Guillory

You are right, I'm sure that the Lord will open up opportunities for us to show love and compassion to others,even to the ones who are angry and frustrated in this unusual time that we are all going through because of the pandemic. We can cook a meal and deliver it to those who are not able to get out and we could also call and encourage those who have been homebound just to let them know that somebody does care, and of course we can listen as they share their burdens!

Reply
Johnee

During this time of pandemic more especially in Africa there is economic criss people go without food, lacking, mask ,sanitizes if show compassion and provide this needs to people it can good

Reply