We’re Praying for Epiphany Fellowship
Sun Mar 09, 2014
by Mark Driscoll
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Sat Mar 08, 2014
Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
Jesus Has Compassion
"When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them." - Matthew 9:36
The expression for compassion is very strong (esplagcn isq). All that was within him was stirred by the sight which he beheld. He was full of emotion and showed it in his whole person.
His yearning compassions gathered around (peri) the people and exhibit the picture of Jesus under strong emotion. This is a portrait of him as he appeared on many occasions. Indeed, the words before us might sum up his entire life.
Let us behold his compassion as manifested in:
I. The Great Transactions of His Life
- The Eternal Covenant in its conception, arranging, and provisions is full of compassion to men
- The Incarnation of our Lord shows matchless compassion
- His living in the flesh among men declares it
- His bearing the death penalty is the highest fruit of it
- His intercession for sinners proves its continuance
This is a wide subject. In every act of his grace, the Lord of love manifests tender compassion to men.
II. Instances That Encourage Hope
- In Matthew 15:32, we see a fainting, hungry crowd. A crowd can be a sad sight; a crowd, when faint, is far more so. Such crowds are perishing in our cities today.
- In Matthew 14:14, the sick are most prominent in the throng
- Jesus lived in a vast hospital, himself suffering, as well as healing, the diseases of men.
- None can tell how deep is his pity for suffering humanity.
- In the case mentioned in the text he saw an ignorant, neglected, perishing crowd
- The sorrows, dangers, and sins of spiritual ignorance are great.
- The Lord Jesus is the Shepherd of the un-shepherded.
- In Matt. 20:34, we see the blind. Jesus pities spiritual blindness: dwell upon the interesting details of the two blind men.
- In Mark 1:41, we see the leper. Christ pities sin-polluted men. Jesus had compassion for the man who said, "If thou wilt, thou canst."
- In Mark 5:19, we have the demoniac. Jesus pities tempted souls
- The man out of whom he cast a legion of devils was to be dreaded, but the Lord gave him nothing but compassion.
- He pities rather than blames those sore vexed by the devil.
These instances should encourage similar cases to hope in our Lord.
III. Our Personal Recollections Prove This Compassion
Knowing our ignorance, needs, and sorrows, the Lord Jesus has provided beforehand for our wants: the whole system reveals a most compassionate Savior.
Let us remember how tenderly he dealt with us. Let us trust in this divine mercifulness for ourselves. Let us commend it to those around us. Let us imitate it in dealing compassionately with our fellows.
The literal translation is "All his bowels were agitated, and trembled with sympathy and compassion." The ancients believed the bowels to be the seat of sympathy, or mercy. The Greek word used here to denote compassion is the most expressive that human language is capable of employing, insomuch that our version utterly fails to convey the vastness and fullness of the meaning of the original. —Dr. Cumming.
Compare the impression produced upon Xerxes by the sight of his enormous army. "His heart swelled within him at the sight of such a vast assemblage of human beings; but his feelings of pride and pleasure soon gave way to sadness, and he burst into tears at the reflection that in a hundred years not one of them would be alive."
How a tender-hearted mother would plead with a judge for her child ready to be condemned! Oh, how would her bowels work; how would her tears trickle down; what weeping rhetoric would she use to the judge for mercy! Thus the Lord Jesus is full of sympathy and tenderness (Heb. 2:17), that he might be a merciful High Priest. Though he hath left his passion, yet not his compassion. An ordinary lawyer is not affected with the cause he pleads, nor doth he care which way it goes; profit makes him plead, not affection. But Christ intercedes feelingly; and that which makes him intercede with affection is, it is his own cause which he pleads in the cause of his people. —Thomas Watson.
"Five hundred millions of souls," exclaimed a missionary (many years ago), "are represented as being unenlightened! I cannot, if I would, give up the idea of being a missionary, while I reflect upon this vast number of my fellow-sinners, who are perishing for lack of knowledge. ' Five hundred millions' intrudes itself upon my mind wherever I go, and however I am employed. When I go to bed, it is the last thing that recurs to my memory; if I awake in the night, it is to meditate on it alone; and in the morning it is generally the first thing that occupies my thoughts."
We may suppose there was nothing in the external appearance of these multitudes which, to the common eye, would indicate their sad condition. We may suppose that they were "well-fed and well-clad," and that their hearts, under the influence of numbers, as is generally the case, were buoyant with pleasurable excitement; that good humor sunned their countenances, and enlivened their talk, and that—both to themselves, and to the ordinary spectator—they were a happy folk. But he, who seeth not as man seeth, looked down through the superficial stream of pleasurable excitement which now flowed and sparkled, and saw—What? Intellect enslaved, reason blinded, moral faculties benumbed, souls "faint" and lost, "scattered abroad, as sheep hating no shepherd," —David Thomas.