Compassion in the Time of Covid

You may have heard of, or possibly even read, Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel titled Love in the Time of Cholera. I personally have not read it and, after having read a synopsis of the book, I don’t think I ever will. But the title is catchy and so I thought I would play on its words.

I was recently made aware of one of B.B. Warfield’s writings called The Emotional Life of our Lord, a work he penned after searching through the Gospels and looking for any references to Jesus emotions. Can you guess what emotion was most associated with Jesus in the Scriptures? I’m sure you guessed it based upon the title of this post, but it was compassion.

Whether healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the sorrowful, describing a father toward his wayward son, or telling a story about a Samaritan rescuer…Jesus life and ministry was filled with compassion. The word itself means “to suffer with.” The idea of compassion is caring about the sadness and sufferings of others. Jesus cared when the people were hungry. He cared when the people were sad. He cared when he saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he cared that we were lost in our sins. Though the word compassion isn’t used in the text I think this is the idea of the first paragraph of Philippians 2.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus had compassion for sinners and so he humbled himself in obedience to his Father. And consider our interests he died in our place so that we could live with him forever. If ever there was a display of compassion it was this. Not only did Jesus care about our suffering, he suffered for us so that we could be freed for our suffereing.

The world around us is in lock down. People are worried about paying bills, going to working, having toilet paper, schooling their children. Would you take a few moments today to stop and think about what your neighbors and those in our community are going through? Would you have compassion on them and consider how you might meet their needs? How to start a relationship?

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