Compassion is an emotion of deep sympathy or sorrow for another who is experiencing misfortune and pain. It includes a desire to ease or even alleviate burdens and distress. Jesus was often moved to compassion and would heal physical and spiritual suffering.
“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.”Psalm 145:9 (NIV)
John chapter 9 gives a wonderful account of healing, faith, and the compassion of Christ. Jesus passed by a man who was blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Jn. 9:1) They made the same assumption Job’s friends had made, that sin was the cause for the poor man’s sightlessness. Jesus informed His companions that neither the man nor his parents had sinned to cause the disability.
In an act of great compassion, the Lord made clay with His saliva and anointed the eyes of this blind man. Afterwards, Jesus then told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. This man who had lived his entire life in darkness put his faith into action. Still with mud in his eyes, he obeyed the Lord’s instruction and found his way to the pool, he came back seeing.
“Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” Matthew 20:34 (NKJV)
Sometimes we are given health problems or disabilities because they serve as a witness to God’s power and grace. Sin is not always the reason for our suffering or hardship. In the case of this man born blind but given miraculous sight later in life, the Word gives account of his faith and unexpected but willing witness.
Neighbors who had witnessed this miracle brought the one who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. They asked how he had received his sight so the man relayed the events leading up to his healing, giving Jesus the credit and the glory. Calling Jesus a sinner they urged him to give God the glory, hoping to discredit Jesus. Bold in the Holy Spirit, this unexpected witness replied,
“Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
The Pharisees rebuked him by saying he was completely born in sins, thus they cast him out of the synagogue.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, so He looked for him. Once found, the compassion of Christ continued. “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The man’s humble response was, “Who is He Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” (Jn. 9:37-39) Blessed are we who believe but have not yet seen.
Not all of us will experience a miraculous healing, but we will always profit from acts of obedience and faith. This story teaches us that Jesus heals both physically and the spiritually. The man born blind first experienced physical healing. It served God’s purpose, a witness to the unbelieving world and an opportunity for Jesus to rebuke His accusers. Through the compassion of Jesus, this surprising witness was also given spiritual healing through his rebirth.
We should never doubt the compassion of Christ, nor His power. Suffering is an opportunity Jesus has given you to be a witness to the lost. Will you shine your light or hide it under a bushel because you doubt the compassion and ways of almighty God?
READ THESE SCRIPTURES THEN PRAY FOR BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALING IN YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.” Psalm 6:2 (NKJV)
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,and He saved them from their distress.
He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:19-20 (NKJV)
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;He protects all his bones,not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:19-20 (NIV)
“Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:41 (NKJV)
“His is a loving, tender hand, full of sympathy and compassion.” ~ D.L. Moody
This devotion is from my book FACING ADVERSITY: THOUGHTS OF WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISE
Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report
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