Thursday, April 17, 2008


We've touched on Jesus' compassion.

When Jesus walked the earth, in the flesh, He saw what you and I see. Homeless people. Hurting people. Disfigured and diseased. Hopeless. He had the power to do something about it. But what made Him move?


The Greek word translated as compassion oftentimes in the New Testament (splagchnizomai) literally refers to the bowels (because they were believed to be the seat of pity and love). The idea is a deep-down ache to help someone. That’s what Jesus felt—a deep ache to help. In the instant He saw them (and likely before), He immediately knew their past, their pain, their despair. He was their only hope. And He was moved.

In today’s vernacular, I’d define this concept of compassion as a gut-wrenching reaction to seeing someone in pain paired with a powerful motivation to help them. Then, mercy follows. Mercy is the act that completes compassion's desire.

Jesus did what He saw the Father doing. He did as His Father directed Him. The Father’s heart is full of mercy. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of healings. Limbs restored, blind eyes restored, hearing restored. Life restored. Mercy abounding as The Healer moved through the various cities of the land of His mission. And mercy’s starting place? A gut-wrenching response in the center of the Savior’s being. His heart ached for the hurting. His mind knew they could be made whole. His feet moved as the Father led. His hands healed.

I’m so thankful that the God of hope, the One who is hope for the hopeless, is also the God of mercy. He is moved and he moves to help.

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