There is no-one who has walked this earth with as much compassion as Jesus Christ. The Gospels are full of the healing miracles of Jesus, who was moved with compassion at personal suffering.
So what exactly is compassion? From the verb compati “suffer with”, compassion is to be moved with such sympathy as if one was actually suffering with someone, and desiring to help them.
Psalm 86:15 describes our God perfectly. It says: “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Jesus was considered a radical in his lifetime. He was condemned by the religious leaders of the day, who were full of pride.
While these religious leaders condemned “sinners” and looked down on the average person, Jesus was known as the “friend of sinners”. Jesus knew that it is love alone that heals and sets someone free and not judgement. The religious leaders were powerless to heal anyone.
Jesus, however, moved with compassion, healed 10 lepers on one occasion, raised a widow’s son from the dead and his friend Lazarus who had been in the grave for three days. Jesus fed 5000 plus people with a child’s lunch, and spoke to the wind and waves when he and the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and they immediately obeyed him and abated.
Jesus is now seated at God’s right hand in heaven but he is still operating today through his followers who call upon His power and love to heal the sick, sad, lonely and hurting in our world. Jesus is as close to each one of us as we allow him to be.
Just as there are earthly kingdoms, there is a heavenly kingdom and we have a choice to be part of it. At Christmas time, we celebrate the birth of Christ and we should really celebrate. This same Jesus is coming back to rule and reign.
In 800 BC, Isaiah the prophet saw forward to the birth and much later to the end-time return of Christ.
He wrote these words: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
“And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
May the compassionate Saviour Jesus, bless you and yours abundantly this Christmas.
Pam Sammut, Tenterfield Community Church