Incomparable Compassion. Oh How He Loves You and Me

The incomparable compassion and mercy of Jesus is on loving display at the cross. His power to make good on His compassionate offer of eternal life is revealed in His resurrection. Before His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus taught with a compassionate heart. His teaching was motivated by mercy and love.  At least 14 times in the gospels we are told Jesus was moved with compassion. Jesus went in towns and villages teaching in their synagogues and when He “saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:35-36). Upon the occasion of Jesus weeping at the tomb of Lazarus, the Jews remarked, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:36). In the upper room while teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love” (John 15:9). Sometimes Jesus taught in response to a pressing problem from someone who came to Him or as a result of contact with people who were hurting and had a need. Jesus taught about the Sabbath on the occasion of healing a man with a paralyzed hand (Matt. 12:9-14). After driving demons from a possessed man, Jesus taught about the unity of God’s Kingdom and warned against blasphemy (Matt. 12:25-32). After His encounter with the rich young ruler who came asking about eternal life, Jesus taught about sacrifice (Matt. 19:16-28, Mark 10:17-31). After being questioned by the Jews regarding the healing of the lame man by the pool of Bethesda, Jesus taught about His relationship to the Father (John 5:1-23). When Jesus preached His first sermon at Nazareth, he read from Isaiah, which described Jesus’ ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). His emphasis was on meeting needs and healing hurts. Jesus had Good News to share, and people wanted to hear it. He had a message that offered practical benefits for their lives. His truth would set people free and bring all sorts of blessings to their lives. Are you a teacher of God’s Word? The people who will sit under your teaching are just like you. They live in a fallen world and they have a sin nature. God loves mercy, and spirit-filled teaching will reflect God’s truth with compassion.  Do you balance your teaching with a compassionate and merciful heart?

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