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Section 3  - Love Your Neighbor Study #8  - Compassion Of Jesus
Compassion Of Jesus

The Objectives :The two main objectives of this study are to inspire disciples to see the world through Jesus’ eyes (from His perspective) and encourage them to have the heart and compassion of Jesus.

The Scriptures:

Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Q: What did Jesus do “when he saw the crowds”? What does it mean to have compassion for people?

Hebrews in the days of Jesus saw compassion as “being moved” to kindness, benevolence, or love.

Q: Have you ever seen anything that moved you to kindness, benevolence, or love? (charitable commercials for starving children, homeless people on the street, disaster victims on news, etc.)

Q: What does he mean “sheep without a shepherd”?

A sheep without a shepherd has no one looking out for them, no one protecting them from the predators of the world. The Bible tells us that Satan is a devouring lion in our daily spiritual lives. People we pass everyday have no one to care for them spiritually, they are all alone and wandering without direction. This is how we should see people as we go through our day.

Mark 6:30-44
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late.
36 Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."
37 But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages ! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"
38 "How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five--and two fish."
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.
40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.
41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.
42 They all ate and were satisfied,
43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.
44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Life can be exhausting! Jesus and his disciples were tired and hungry and left to get some rest. However, when they got to where they were going they found more people in need.

Q: What was Jesus’ heart? What motivated Jesus to meet the needs?

Q: Think of times that you have had a long, tiring day (of work, school, family responsibilities, serving in the church); were you still willing to have compassion for the needs of others?

We may feel like the disciples, who didn’t feel like they had the physical or emotional resources to meet the needs of others. However, we must never forget that if we are willing to act faithfully, God will give us the resources to meet the needs of others and be strengthened ourselves.

Mark 1:40-42
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."
41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

Jesus was willing to risk his personal well-being, his reputation, and even his life to help this man. Jesus had the heart to love the people who were looked down upon and were regarded as outcasts because of their physical, moral, or social condition.

Q: Would you be willing to risk your well-being, your reputation, and even your life to help someone?

Q: Do you love those around you who may be considered outcasts by others because of their physical, moral, or social condition?

Mark 2:13-17
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.
14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Jesus saw not only people’s physical and emotional needs, he saw their spiritual needs. These people may have looked okay on the outside by the were spiritually sick, hurting, and needy!

Q: Do you see the spiritual needs of those around you?

Psalm 116:5-6
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

The lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion and when I was in great need, he saved me.

As disciples of Jesus we must always remember why we serve, why we evangelize, and why we deny ourselves for the needs of others…we do these things to be like God…who is full of compassion and who, when we were in “great need” saved us!

The Spiritual exercise: Imitate Jesus’ heart for people by having compassion that leads you to action. Decide to see the spiritual and physical needs of those around you and have a heart to help!