Compassion is an essential element of Christianity. Christ had compassion for those around Him, God has compassion for each of us, and we should have and demonstrate compassion in our own lives.

Christ had compassion for those who were spiritually distressed and for those who were physically weak. In Matthew 9, as Jesus was teaching and healing crowds of people, “He felt compassion for them because they were distressed and dispirited” (v. 36). Jesus also felt compassion for those who had followed Him and had become hungry after several days in Matthew 15:32.

God has compassion for us, as demonstrated in the parable of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:20, we read that the father, representing our heavenly Father, “felt compassion” for His returning son, “ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Similarly, we are to have compassion for those in our world who are spiritually distressed, physically weak, and humbly in need of God. In Luke 10, Jesus makes our obligation clear with the parable of The Good Samaritan. When the Samaritan saw a man who had been beaten, robbed, and left for dead, “he felt compassion” (v. 33). When he saw a man who had no other hope of salvation and was in desperate need of a savior, the Samaritan “bandaged up his wounds” and “took care of him” (v. 34).

Matt Langfield