Moved by Compassion

Mark 6:34 “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”

Sometimes it is easy for Christians to see nonbelievers as the enemy. Preachers sometimes rant and rave about the sins nonbelievers commit. But let’s remember something: behind their sin is an empty, searching, lost person whom God loves.

We are not called to condemn. We are called to appeal to nonbelievers with the message of hope, the gospel. We need compassion. Jesus was overflowing with compassion. He was moved by the needs of others.

When He saw Mary and Martha weeping over the death of Lazarus, He “groaned in the spirit and was troubled”. That phrase carries the idea of physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish. Jesus is the only one who can accurately say, “I feel your pain.” As He watched Mary and Martha weeping, His heart went out to them. He was in anguish, too. He hurt for them. He hurt with them. That’s our Savior.

Jesus knew that the same people who cried, “Hosanna to the Son of David! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One” as He entered Jerusalem would soon shout, “Crucify Him!”

Yet He felt compassion, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”. We should seek to imitate the Lord and have compassion on those who annoy us and even those who wish to do us harm.

If we want to be used by God in any capacity, this must be foremost in our minds and hearts. And it can’t be an obligation, or mere duty, not guilt, but a God-given burden for people.


David Ball,