Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 11 Page 11 November 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles
Priscilla's Page

Compassion Is Love In Action

By Judy Corns

Compassion is defined as a sympathetic attitude, one of sadness;  a real concern for someone’s misfortune; grief over another’s distress; pity.  To have compassion then is to express a feeling of concern.  To express is to do something about something!  When acting upon that concern, love—agape love—will gallop forward at a breakneck speed to alleviate the problem or pain.  Compassion is a concern for the welfare and comfort of others.  It swiftly moves on that concern to bring about a change for the better.

“And, behold, a woman . . . diseased . . . touched the hem of his garment . . . and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9:20-22).  Yes, the faith of this woman brought her to the hem of Jesus’ garment, but Jesus, aware of her faith, had mercy and she was whole again!  He gave her comfort!  On that day he also gave life back to a maiden.  He gave sight to the blind and he drove out demons from the bedeviled.  All because he had a great compassion for those who needed and asked for his help.  In turn, they confessed “according to their faith.”  His sympathetic love touched them, making them whole.  He noticed their misfortune, was concerned and healed them.  He loved them!

Today we do not possess the powers to cure illness as did Jesus, but we can learn to practice the compassion of agape love!  Attending to the needs of others, never passing up an opportunity, we can show love to all our fellow men.  We are to give ourselves, our time, all that we have, knowing in so doing we are but obeying the commandments of the Lord.

As he climbed the hill with his cross, “there followed him a great company of people . . . Jesus turned saying Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Luke 23:27-28).  “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:31).  One person explains this verse thus: If innocent Jesus could meet with such an end, what horror is to befall on the day Jesus’ accusers are judged?  Are we concerned?

When they came to the place called Calvary, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  He spoke just moments before his death, asking God the Father to forgive his accusers!  Jesus showed compassion and did something about it!  Those who wept on his behalf along with those who mocked our Lord, then listened as he asked his Father to forgive those involved in his demise.  “The centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47).  Even the centurion glorified God!  Jesus the pure and righteous man, identified by one who was not!

Jesus was hanged on the tree for sins of the world, not his own.  On that shameful cross he said to the one hanging there near him, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  This was an answer to a last-minute request.  That answer was a unique, unmerited gift of agape love from the Savior!  Jesus was dying on the cross, yet there he promised life eternal to one who asked for his mercy.  He needed mercy, he was shown love.  Jesus gave him paradise!

Through the life of Jesus, we see his compassion for others.  His warm love covers penitent persons in a blanket of understanding and care, buffering them against the chill winds of the wicked world.  His love caused the sudden vanishing of volumes of troubles and turmoil.  Jesus was love in action!  He taught, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8).  Action and love comforted the concerns of the hungry crowds.  Even the angry crowds were quieted by his attitude.  Jesus knew how to show God’s love.  We can know the love of God because we can know Jesus.  He came to be the great example.  He taught the disciples.  God gave us the inspired Word, that we might find the way of love and use it.  It is full of power and life eternal.

The apostle Peter wrote, “God’s divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him” (2 Peter 1:3).  This knowledge comes from God; Peter just put it into script for us to use.  God has given “us exceeding great and precious promises . . . having escaped the corruption” (2 Peter 1:3-4).  We are to add to our faith, virtue and knowledge.  To this brotherly kindness we are to add charity.  Charity is love—agape love—a love that knows no boundaries and has no equal!  If we have these things in us and they abound, we will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the Lord.  We are blind if we do not have these things.  Blind, we will return to our old sins.  If we give diligence to make our calling and election sure, we shall never fall!  (2 Peter 1:5-10).

We are to go into the world of today with love and teach the lost, baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Try reaching out and touching someone with an honest and genuine compassionate love and let the action begin!  God’s love can bring lasting peace.  His compassion is love in action.

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