Wednesday, January 9, 2008


This is one of my favorite facets of Jesus’ character. His compassion. This aspect shows us His tender side. Have you ever thought of God as distant and cold and waiting to knock you back in line should you stray? This trait proves that depiction is a lie from the enemy meant to turn you off toward God.

Over and over in the Gospels, Jesus comes upon a sick or needy person and He is moved with compassion. (See Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 20:34, etc.)

Here’s one of my favorites passages:

“And a leper came to Him, begging Him and kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, If You will, You can make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I [am] willing; be clean!” (Mark 1:40-41)

In the Visual Bible Matthew series, Bruce Marchiano (as Jesus) played that passage (from Matthew’s account) with such compassion and tenderness. It’s very moving. Jesus saw how much this person had suffered and how lonely he was. The Lord was his only hope, and Jesus chose to help him because of compassion.

It’s the Lord’s compassion that made me fall in love with him the first time. When I saw His tender side, I was moved and undone. All the guards and facades and protective mechanisms I’d developed from dealing with life and imperfect people (like myself) fell away in the light and warmth of this amazing compassion.

And it’s His compassion that woos me now, when I have a rough day or when the guards shoot back up into place. When I’m untouchable even from God’s perspective. Not for long. He has a secret weapon. Compassion. He doesn’t want the miserable to stay unhappy and wounded. He wants us healed and freed to glorify Him.

When we gaze on His tender heart, all cynicism melts away and we can then have compassion on others. I have to be willing to behold His tenderness so I can be molded into a person who loves mercy more and more.

I don’t mind. I love His compassionate heart.

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