Have you ever felt sorry for someone? It could be a friend, family member, or a stranger on the street. If you’re like me, you feel sorry for people fairly often. I hate seeing people getting knocked down by life and not having the will or the strength to get back up. That’s usually the type of person I feel sorry for. I have a momentary thought of “Man, I hate that for them,” then my attention gets diverted, my life goes on, and I forget about their pain. I hope I’m not the only person this happens to.
Now let me ask you this: have you ever felt compassion for someone? Despite what you might be thinking, they’re two different feelings. Compassion is more than feeling sorry for someone’s situation. It does something about it. Compassion is a combination of pity and love. It motivates you to not just have a momentary thought, but to do something about their situation. Compassion is love in action, and I believe we all could use more of it. Jesus didn’t just look at people and had pity on them. He had compassion and it moved Him to action.
I believe we are to follow that example. We shouldn’t just feel sorry for others. We should have compassion and act. Here are several verses where Jesus had compassion and acted or taught about it.
1. A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
Mark 1:40-42 NLT
2. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Matthew 14:14 NLT
3. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Luke 7:12-15 NLT
4. “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Luke 15:20-24 NLT
5. Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.” The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?” Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.” So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
Matthew 15:32-36 NLT