Man of Compassion

KEY VERSE: “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” —Luke 7:13

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Luke 7:11-17; 14:1-6

“WEEP not.” These were the comforting words of Jesus to a sorrowing mother who was burying her only son. His tender heart went out to her, as he observed and felt the terrible sting of death as the funeral bier passed by. But these were more than just comforting words. Jesus realized he had the power to turn her tears of sorrow into tears of joy. Knowing that through him the power of God could raise the dead, he touched the coffin, and as the procession stood still, Jesus said in a commanding voice, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up.”—vss. 14,15

Jesus used his time and strength unstintingly in relief of human suffering, but his main achievement was to furnish a vivid object lesson of what would be accomplished later for all mankind under the righteous and healing administration of his kingdom. Wherever Jesus went he found those who were sick and afflicted. And in every place he visited he preached the Gospel of the kingdom and healed “every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Matt. 9:35) This daily association with human depravity and suffering touched the Master’s loving heart. The record is that when “he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”—Matt. 9:36

He saw in these circumstances the need for more service than he could personally render, and he said to his disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:37,38) This reflects the true spirit of the Master with respect to preaching the Gospel. It is difficult to see how anyone could be truly Christ-like who did not have this same loving sympathy for the people, and the same longing desire to comfort them with the kingdom message.

Jesus knew full well, even as all truth-enlightened Christians know today, that this is not the age for the world’s conversion. He knew that even the one small nation of Israel would not accept his message in a genuine and permanent manner. He knew that for the most part the multitudes who heard him gladly were of the “stony ground” (Matt. 4:5) class, whose interest would wither under the heat of unpopularity and persecution. But this did not deter him from bearing witness to them, healing them, and rendering what comfort he could for their sorrows. He continued to preach the kingdom message until the end, his last witness being to one of the thieves who was crucified beside him.

Can we, who are endeavoring to be transformed into his character likeness do less?

Every time Jesus performed an act of healing, and most certainly when he raised the dead, he no doubt thought of the future time of his kingdom, when he could say to all men, “Arise,” and all that are in the grave will hear his voice and come forth—a time when all will be healed from sin and sickness and the terrible blight of death. How often he must have recalled that beautiful, symbolic picture of his kingdom foretold by the Prophet Isaiah: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.”—Isa. 35:5,6

The program for accomplishing mankind’s recovery is a great act of compassion on the part of our Heavenly Father and his faithful Son. We have been offered the unspeakable privilege of having a part in it, but it must be an act of compassion on our part too.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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