Since my introduction to “Clara” the other night, I have been asking myself the question, “Why should I care?”. Now don’t get me wrong, I do care about others. Usually though, it is those that I know that I care about. So what is it about this woman, this situation, this experience that is now getting under my skin & causing an itch. (And thankfully, the answer to that question is not the bed bugs!!).
I have been thinking about how Christ cared for the people. They truly were not all people that He knew closely or intimately. There was no way for Him to know the masses. He addressed them & spoke to them as a mass. So what was it that Christ felt towards them that we are also to feel?
Compassion, as defined by dictionary.com, is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
Is it really compassion if we are not looking to alleviate the suffering in some way? Or is it just pity? Pity is the feeling of sympathy or sorrow for a situation but doesn’t necessarily evoke action to alleviate the suffering.
Compassion, according to Vine’s Bible Dictionary, comes from the inward parts of the body; from the intestines. It is that feeling so deep within us that it causes us to be affected similar to the object of our compassion.
Consider this about Christ & compassion:
- “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NLT).
- “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14 NLT).
- “Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (Matthew 15:32 NIV).
- “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” (Matthew 20:34 NIV).
Jesus cared about the confused, the helpless, the sick, the hungry. But His compassion moved Him so deeply that He did something for them.
So when asked, “Why should I care?”, may my response be, “We want to be like Jesus.”
And Jesus always had compassion.