Jesus ministered in compassion. All through the Gospels, we see Jesus ‘felt compassion’ or was ‘moved by compassion’ when He ministered to the needs of the people.
“But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.” ~Matthew 9:36 WEB
Jesus expressed compassion and taught principles of compassion through His parables.
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were recorded one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” ~John 21:25 AMP
Compassion and the Parables of Jesus
The Gospels contain many parables of Jesus which demonstrate His compassion for others. Here are nine powerful parables which express Jesus compassion and His call to us to emulate Him through compassionate acts.
The Parable of Feeding the Five Thousand
When the multitudes followed Jesus, He showed compassion by healing their sick and by feeding them. He performed a miracle by feeding five thousand men (plus women and children) from five loaves and two fish. After everyone was satisfied, they gathered up twelve baskets full of broken pieces.
“When [Jesus] went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” ~Matthew 14:14 NASB
“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.” ~Mark 6:34 NASB
The Parable of Feeding the Four Thousand
After teaching the multitudes and performing miracles in a remote location, Jesus showed compassion by multiplying seven loaves of bread and a few small fish to feed four thousand men (plus women and children). After everyone was satisfied, they gathered up seven large baskets of the broken pieces.
“And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, ‘I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” ~Matthew 15:32 NASB
“In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and said to them, ‘I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a great distance.” ~Mark 8:1-3 NASB
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
God shows great compassion toward us by forgiving our sins. Today, God calls us to show compassion and mercy toward others by forgiving them just as He has forgiven us.
“Then his lord called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’” ~Matthew 18:32-33 WEB
The Parable of the Generous Landowner
Jesus encourages compassion for those who have a desire to labor, but are unable to find work.
“About the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He [the landowner] said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’” ~Matthew 20:6-7 WEB
The landowner did not say how much he would pay the laborers. He only committed to pay them what is right. The late arrivals most likely expected to receive pay for the one hour they worked.
“When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages beginning from the last to the first.’ When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’” ~Matthew 20:8-12 WEB
Let us be thankful for our work, and let us not be envious of others!
“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? Take what which is yours and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good? So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 20: 13-16 WEB
Let us rejoice in the Lord’s faithful provision for ourselves and others. Let us rejoice that His compassion comes from a generous heart.
The Parable of Healing the Blind Men
“Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed Him.” ~Matthew 20:34 WEB
The Parable of Healing the Leper
“And a leper came to [Jesus], begging Him, kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, ‘If you want to, you can make me clean.’ Being moved with compassion, [Jesus] stretched out His hand, and touched him, and said to him, ‘I want to. Be made clean.’ When [Jesus] had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him and he was made clean.” ~Mark 1:40-42 WEB
The Parable of Raising the Widow’s Dead Son
“Jesus went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a great throng accompanied Him. [Just] as He drew near the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large gathering from the town was accompanying her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”
“And He went forward and touched the funeral [transport], and the pallbearers stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise [from death]!’ And the man [who was] dead sat up and began to speak. And [Jesus] gave him [back] to his mother. Profound and reverent fear seized them all, and they began to recognize God and praise and give things, saying, ‘A great Prophet has appeared among us! And God has visited His people [in order to help and care for and provide for them]!’” ~Luke 7:11-16 AMPC
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Jesus faithfully taught the principles of God’s kingdom, walked in humility, and expounded on the character of God through parables exemplifying His compassion.
“Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’”
“[The lawyer] answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbor?’” ~Luke 10:25-29 WEB
Jesus calls us to show compassion to strangers.
“Jesus replied and said, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”
“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii [two day’s wages] and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’”
“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?’ And [the lawyer] said, ‘The one who showed mercy toward him.’ Then Jesus said to [the lawyer], ‘Go and do the same.’” ~Luke 10:30-37 NASB
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Our heavenly Father shows compassion to us and calls us to not only show compassion to strangers, but He calls us to show compassion to those we know well. The father of the prodigal son showed compassion while his older brother chose judgment, offense, bitterness, and resentment.
“[The younger son] arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” ~Luke 15:20 WEB
“But [the older son] was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him. But [the older son] answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this younger son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’”
“[The father] said to [the older son], ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’” ~Luke 15:25-30 WEB
In our humanity, we often compare our external actions with other people’s external actions and think we are greater than someone else. But God calls us to look at Him, and to emulate what we see Him doing which is to show compassion, extend grace, and rejoice when a wanderer returns home.
Jesus Will Return
Jesus spoke of a day when He will come again.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then he will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’” ~Matthew 25:31-40 NASB
God wants us to remember Him by showing compassion to the weak among us. I pray these nine powerful parables which express Jesus’ compassion toward us and His call to us to emulate Him through compassionate acts were an encouragement to you today.
21 Bible Verses about Compassion, Of Christ. Published by Knowing Jesus. Retrieved August 12, 2023, from 21 Bible verses about Compassion, Of Christ (knowing-jesus.com)
95 Bible Verses about Compassion of Jesus. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from What Does the Bible Say About Compassion Of Jesus? (openbible.info)
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