THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

After reading several friends posts about God’s compassion I felt really inspired to do the same.  The Holidays were especially difficult for me this year. I think for the first time I realized completely what an empty, vain practice Christmas can be when our hearts are not focused on Christ and His gift to us of salvation, and when instead we often let this celebration become about gifts and food and temporary pleasure. This morning while thinking about all of these things and the idea of entering the New year with a joyful spirit, I was reading devotionals and thinking about joy even in times of difficulty and I came across this article. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me this morning! The Lord is in control, He’s on His throne and He is indeed the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but He cares for us….what an amazing thing often taken for granted that is dear reader! Be blessed!

Teresa

John MacDuff

“This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose”—

“When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, ‘Don’t cry.'” Luke 7:13

The fronds of the desert palm-tree are never so beautiful, as when seen thickly gemmed with the dews of the Eastern night—nature’s teardrops.

With reverence may we say the same of the Heavenly Palm. Jesus is never so gracious or attractive as when we are called, as here, to note His look of compassion—His tears of sympathy—denoting the tenderness of divine human affection. Observe, it was the sight of woe (the contemplation of human misery) which at Nain stirred to its depths that Heart of hearts.

“Forth from the city gate,
As evening shadows lengthen o’er the plain,
And the hushed crowd in reverent silence wait,
Passed out a funeral train.

“Chief of the mourners there,
Slow following, with feeble steps, the dead,
In the sad travail of the soul’s despair,
Bowed down her stricken head.

“For him she wept forlorn,
Of care the solace, and of age the stay,
Whose silver cord was broken, ere the morn
Had brightened into day.”

It would seem as if the Lord of Love could not look upon grief, without that grief becoming His own. In the similar case of Lazarus, it was not the bitter thought of a lost and dead friend which opened the fountain of His own tears. This it could not be; because four days previously He had spoken in calm composure of his departure; and when He stood in the graveyard, He knew that in a few moments the victim of death would have his eyes rekindled with living luster. At Bethany (as here at Nain), it was simply the spectacle of human suffering that made its irresistible appeal to His emotional nature. The rod of human compassion touched the Rock of Ages, and the streams of tenderness gushed forth. “When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews weeping which came with her…Jesus wept.” “When the Lord saw” this poor widow, “He had compassion on her.” He hears her bitter, heart-rending weeping in the midst of the mourners, and it is worthy of observation—utters the soothing, sympathetic word, before He utters the Godlike mandate.

Nor should we overlook the fact that it was but a word He uttered. This reveals an exquisite and touching feature in the Savior’s humanity. It attests how intensely delicate and sensitive, as well as true, that humanity was. When we meet a mourner after a severe trial, we shrink from the meeting; glad, perhaps, when a sad and dreaded call of courtesy is over. There is a studied reserve in making reference to the loss; or, if that reference is made, it is short, in a passing word. The press of the hand often expresses what the lips shrink from uttering.

In that vivid picture we have of patriarchal grief, Job’s friends and mourners sat for seven days at his side, and not a syllable was spoken. It was so here with Jesus. He (even He) does not intrude with a long utterance of sympathy. With a tear in His eye, and a suppressed sob, all He says is, “Weep not.” It was the same afterwards with Mary at Bethany. There was not even the one word; nothing but the significant tears.

Behold, then, the beautiful and heartfelt condolence of a Fellow-mourner—”the Brother born for adversity.” “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her!” That weeping, forlorn woman had no lack of other sorrowing friends. Her case seemed to be matter of notoriety. Many went out to mingle their tears with hers; but the sympathy of all these could only go a certain way. They could not be expected to enter into the peculiarities of her woe. Human sympathy is, at best, imperfect; sometimes selfish, always finite and temporary.

Not so the sympathy of Him who joined the funeral procession. He could say, as none else can, “I know your sorrows.” The condolence of the kindest friend on earth knows a limit—that of Jesus knows none. Who knows but in that gentle utterance of tender feeling, and in the deep compassion which dictated it, the Son of Man, the virgin-born, may have had in view another “Mother,” whose hour of similar bereavement was now at hand; when His own death was to be “the sword” which was to “pierce her soul.” The calming word, doubtless, further pointed onwards to a happier time, when in a sorrowless world, “God shall wipe away all tears from off all faces.”

Remember the Savior and sympathizer of Nain is now the same! He had compassion—He has compassion still. He who stopped the funeral casket on that summer’s night in the plains of Jezreel ever lives, and loves, and supports, and pities; and will continue to pity, until pity be no longer needed, in a world of light and purity and peace.

“And thus He always stands,
Friend of the mourner, wiping tears away;
Wherever sorrow lifts her suppliant hands,
And faith remains to pray.

“Wherever the woe-worn flee
From the rude conflict of this world distrest,
Consoling words He whispers, ‘Come to Me,
And I will give you rest!'”

“It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

  1. What a wonderful post! I needed to hear that this morning. It reminds me of a hymn…

    I am so glad you shared this!

    Theresa

  2. Wonderful post!!

    This is so very true!
    {“Wherever the woe-worn flee
    From the rude conflict of this world distrest,
    Consoling words He whispers, ‘Come to Me,
    And I will give you rest!’”

    “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”}

    Even through all the turmoil, heartache, sadness and pain of this life He gives us rest while we are yet in these storms of life. He truly does give us rest, peace, hope and the grace to endure whatever it may be that we have to face along the way.
    Please keep me in your prayers, I am going through one of these storms right now with my 18 year old son, God knows all the details, pray that God will change his heart and pray that I can make the right decisions. The Lord’s will be done, He knows whats best, it may not be what I desire or even want to endure but whatever may come I will trust in the Lord.
    So thankful today for Jesus and that he does give us rest!

    God bless you all, Teresa and all your dear readers here! I am praying for you all to have a blessed New Year in Christ!!

    • Teresa

      Dana you are in my prayers! I love you and I know God is using these trials to strengthen you and your family, even bring you all closer together with each other, and with Him. God bless you sweetheart, my little Sister. It’s been a pleasure spending time with you all these years, and 2010 was even better than the last zillion, lol. I pray 2011 brings much peace and blessing to you and your family. Love you guys!!!

      • Thank you my big sister, blessed beyond measure to have you in my life!! Things are well here tonight, thank you for the prayers, oh how I treasure them! I am remaining firm and standing my ground with him and he is home tonight by curfew and has kept in contact with me when he was out.

  3. You know I was just thinking of something. It is in our greatest times of despair, heart ache, difficulty or whatever you want to call it that we are closest to the Lord. Think of Corrie and Betsy, we are constantly referring to them, LOL, but the trials they went through brought them ever so closer to the Lord. Of course nobody wants to endure these things but it may be that these are the things that strengthen the ties, the chords between us and our savior. These may be the very things that burn out all the other nonsense and really make it so we focus everything on Him. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes it’s just so hard to convey your thoughts into words.

    • Teresa

      Dana I always think of Corrie and Betsy! You know what they went through I can never imagine, but it’s not that long ago in history and our families have involvement in WWII. I think it’s easier to relate to them than other saints of long ago in some way. But their stories are a huge testimony of God using pain and hardship and suffering for His good and purpose. I totally agree with your points, and I understand completely!!! Love you and I am praying for you and your precious family. I really do believe God draws nearer to us, He may use these painful trials but He promised to never leave or forsake us. He cares about us and sees us through these times. It’s amazing to me, we are like little grains of sand in His big Universe, but He cares for us. Amazing.

  4. I loved this Teresa…

    These devotional thoughts by MacDuff are so sweet and tender.

    “He hears her bitter, heart-rending weeping in the midst of the mourners, and it is worthy of observation—utters the soothing, sympathetic word, before He utters the Godlike mandate.”

    Bless God that the Savior and sympathizer of Nain is the same!

    Love and blessings to you and Happy New Year, too!!

    • Teresa

      Love to you and many new Years blessings Christina! I LOVED THIS! This was so sweet and an encouragement to me. I am so blessed by all the years of wonderful writings by the Reformers, Baptists and Purtians of old, I don’t think I could ever read all that I want to. Things like this by MacDuff really help so much in our journey home.

  5. Teresa, these are wonderful thoughts. I am sorry Christmas has been difficult, I pray that 2011 is a year of blessing for you in His tender mercies and compassion.

    Reading of the compassion of Jesus and God the Father – I am struck that I am so familiar with those parts of the Bible expressing the Holiness of God, but not so much with His compassion. In an effort these last few years to get rid of all things seeker-sensitive I think I’ve lost sight of His compassion – thank you for this lovely reminder. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:16). He understands! The Sovereign God of the Universe understands! Awesome!

    • Teresa

      Thank you Diana! I think it was a little more difficult because of Mom, but that situation really helped me put things in perspective. I can totally relate, God’s compassion is something I lost sight of too in many instances. it’s something i need to remind myself of more and more lately. Amen to everything you said! LOL Love to you!

  6. Absolute beautiful and edifying post. Even the comments are a great encouragement. So many things can threaten to steal the joy and comfort we have in Christ, our truest and greatest sympathizer and our surest comforter and friend! Christmas was joyful in Christ and amidst family, albeit not complete! A constant ache and prayer goes out to the prodigal, so blind, so deceived, ‘dead’ like Lazarus. The pain is intense! Yet, there is a sweetness in the faith that I’ve been given from God in Christ… And I hear His words, “Weep not.” And I see Him weep! And I know He cares!!

    A very blessed 2011 to you!

    • Teresa

      Blessings to you this coming New Year Petra! You and your lovely blog have been such an encouragement to me this year.

  7. Marianne Hansen

    Wherever the woe-worn flee
    From the rude conflict of this world distrest,
    Consoling words He whispers, ‘Come to Me,
    And I will give you rest!’”

    “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”

    Teresa,
    The above words are so touching. If anything, the woes of the world, the refusal of fellow believers to be bereans, believers acting more like pagans, and the discouragement in my own heart are quite often too hard to bear. It is the beckoning of Jesus to open His Word and read that keeps me going. It is the promise and hope of eternity with Christ that keeps me going. Thank you for your friendship, “sistership”, and encouraging words. Oh, and someday it would be fun to watch Pride&Prejudice with you!
    As we used to say growing up “keep on keepin on” – and that can only be done through Christ.

    Love, M.

    • Teresa

      Marianne it’s so great to see your name here! I am so glad this little little blog encouraged you. The hope and promises of Christ are the thoughts that keep me going in this hard world, and friends like all of you Sisters and Brothers in Christ! I have been very blessed by your friendship, and you gotta deal…someday we gotta watch those Jane Austin flicks! lol

      You keep on keeping on too Sister, and stop my anytime!

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