Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Nine times in the synoptic gospels, there is reference to Jesus having compassion. It was something that he felt deep down.

When Jesus looked at the crowds that followed him, many of them diseased and distressed, both Matthew and Mark tell us that he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34).

The challenge for us today is clear. If we are going to touch people with faith, hope and love we must first feel their needs and feel them deeply.

We live in an antiseptic society. Death and unpleasantness are removed conveniently from us. How can we feel compassion for those we do not even see? Of course, there are frequent broadcasts on television and gruesome news photos in the press. But the TV pictures are fleeting and we can always turn the page of a magazine.

And in some circles the news of a famine in India or an earthquake in Chile may raise more excitement as a potential sign of the return of Christ than compassion for the victims of misery and pain..

To feel compassion is an art that can be learned. It grows by seeing things through the eyes of Jesus.

Jesus’ compassion always resulted in action (Matthew 14:14; 15:32). Compassion is like that.

To read more on this topic see Living in the Image of God, Barry Chant (Miranda: Tabor, 2012 available in eBook and Paperback) from which this edited extract is taken.

Barry Chant

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Barry Chant is a regular speaker at church services, seminars, conferences and conventions. Hundreds of thousands of his books have been sold around the world. He has degrees in arts, theology and ministry, a diploma in education and a PhD in history. He was the co-founder and former president of Tabor College, Australia.

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