One of the more important things we learn about God as revealed to us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, is that He is a God of great Compassion. The Bible teaches us that when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them.… Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude.…” When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.…” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes.” In the passage today, Jesus is approached by a leper who pleads for healing. Matthew 8:3 says, “Jesus stretched forth his hand and touched him…” Luke says, “…moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him.”

The most common verb used in the Greek New Testament to refer to God’s compassion is splanchnizomai. This verb is used twelve times. In nine of those occurrences it refers to the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ as his motivation for healing! Literally this word refers to the inner parts of a man, the heart, liver, and so on. The most common use of the word is to the lower parts of the abdomen, the intestines, and especially the womb. Too much information! I know!

When we say “he had guts” referring to someone with courage it’s similar. They wanted us to feel the compassion so they used graphic language. Maybe you have felt that. Sometimes a sharp pain in the abdomen will accompany intense feelings of compassion or pity for those we love. I once felt it when I was sitting at a swimming pool and watched my 18 month old son’s floating device flip over with him in it taking him under. My stomach wrenched, and I went into the water, clothes and all. He came up sputtering. Whew!

Genesis 6 tells us that God looked down upon the earth and saw what people did to each other and his “heart (another word for an internal organ) was filled with pain.” Someone once said that compassion is “your pain in my heart.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7