Over and over, the New Testament bears witness to how Jesus viewed those He came to save. In Matthew 9, we are told: “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” In Mark 8, Jesus spoke to His disciples: “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with Me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat.” In Matthew 25, we are given a picture of judgment when Jesus acknowledged those who had compassion on the “least of these.”
When the Lord gazes over our world today, He sees this poor, the despairing, the grieving, the confused, and the misguided. These past weeks have been horrific. The ravages of fierce storms have wrecked so many lives. The senseless violence in Las Vegas has taken a devastating toll among so many. We are staggered by the disruption and discouragement.
And Jesus had compassion.
A man was complaining to his pastor, listing all the events and circumstances that caused pain and loss. “Why doesn’t God do something?” The minister thought for a moment and then said, “I don’t believe God needs me to defend Him, but I think He is doing something. He is sending you and me into those moments when we can show the compassion of Christ.”
We don’t have all the answers, perhaps very few of them. But we can impact our world with our attention and care. An elderly man, affectionately known as Mr. Ben, who lived on their street had recently been widowed. A mother was explaining to her six year-old what had happened. He sat silently for a while and then left the room. The woman got busy with some chores and realized that she hadn’t heard anything from him for a few minutes. She went looking for him. When she couldn’t find him in the house, she stepped out her front door. He was walking up the sidewalk toward her. “Where have you been, honey?” The boy’s face was streaked with tears. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” she asked. “I’m okay. I just went over to Mr. Ben’s so I could cry with him.”
And the followers of Jesus had compassion.