Compassion is not a term we use much in the world today. It is generally used when we see starving children or a family that is going through a hard time. It is a word that is used more as a feeling rather than an action. The Bible makes it clear that compassion is an action word. There were many times in the gospels where it was written “Jesus was moved with compassion”. His feelings might have been moved but it was His action that showed His level of compassion. Jesus then went on to heal the sick, cast out demons, open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears. Compassion didn’t rely on Jesus liking the people, rather He was moved by their need.
A story in the Bible in the Old Testament really highlights compassion for me in a real way. I heard Greg Laurie preach a bit on it this week on radio and it stirred something deep inside of me. He was talking about Jonah. Jonah was a prophet in the Old Testament. There is only one incident of his ministry recorded in the Bible but it is very significant.
Jonah was called to go and preach in Nineveh. The people of Nineveh were not Israelites (Gods chosen people) so they didn’t have a relationship with God at all. Jonah then ran the other way. For what reason! Prejudice! He knew that if God had called him to preach to the Ninevites then that message would be heard and responded to. But these were wicked people and Jonah wanted them destroyed for their actions. He didn’t want God to have unlimited compassion on them.
SO Jonah ran. God got his attention by allowing him to be thrown overboard from a ship and then swallowed and eventually freed from a big fish. God was not going to let Jonah get away from delivering His message.
Jonah then went to Ninevah and walked through the city which took him three days and preached to the people. They all repented of their sins and God was compassionate and didn’t destroy them. Jonah sulked about it and God then spoke to him.
This story is relevant to us. How often are we not moved with compassion because we have bias or prejudice? Those people get money from the government and shouldn’t spend it on this or that because the money should be used to feed their kids. How do I know my money is going to the poor people and not to the rich ones in the nation. I am not going to show compassion to them because those people do horrible things to others.
God wants us to have unlimited compassion like He does for those around us. If God tells you to befriend them, give to them or share your testimony, we should do it. Let’s have a heart of unlimited compassion and not bias. We all want more people to come on the journey with us so they can also live the life God intended for them. Have a great week!