Setting up for Bible class one day, a young early-bird student was helping me to set up some chairs. As we worked together, he started a conversation by saying, “Hey, Ms. Kathy, so I’ve got a question for you!” I stopped what I was doing and turned my attention to the young boy. “I’m listening,” I replied. He goes on to say, “You might have to think about this for a while and that would be okay to give me an answer later. But then, knowing you Ms. Kathy, you just might have an answer already ready.” I smiled and chuckled a little, secretly hoping that I would have a ready answer for his question. “So, here’s my question. Actually, I have two of them. The first one is this, if you could describe Jesus using just one word, what would that one word be?”
Now, before I even tell you what my answer was to this young boy – I would like to ask you, my blog readers, the same question. I am curious what your answer would be! So, here’s the question: if you could describe Jesus using just one word, what would that one word be?”
The young boy and I both stopped setting up chairs and looked at one another. I smiled at him and said, “Oh that’s easy – my word would be compassion! A great big grin came across his face as he said, “Mine would be loving! But both of those words kind of mean the same thing, don’t they?”
Jesus is compassionate! He is loving!
Jesus’ life here upon this earth embodied compassion. Everyone He met, He would meet with a heart full of compassion. Jesus called twelve men (disciples) to “Come follow me” – all of whom came from various places and walks of life, yet Jesus had compassion upon each one of them, desiring to teach them things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. As Jesus walked about, as He taught in various places, many people would come seeking healing. They would bring loved ones, friends, and sometimes strangers to Jesus so that He could heal them from their various diseases and aliments. Over and over, throughout the Gospels it is written that “Jesus met them with compassion, ” or “Jesus looked upon him with compassion.” And then Jesus would heal, restore, forgive or teach those who were brought to Him. It was His compassion – His love – that drew people to Him then. It still is His compassion – His love – that draws people to Jesus today!
When I think of Jesus’ compassion towards others, I think of the story of the feeding of five thousand people as found in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6, verses – 32-44. There is a clear contrast portrayed here. We learn that the disciples met the crowd with an attitude of great annoyance, saying, “Send them away.” It was getting late in the day, and they didn’t want to be bothered with having to feed this large crowd of people. But then Jesus came and He met the crowd with a totally different attitude. I just love this. Here’s what Scripture says in verse 34, “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.” Jesus not only met them with compassion, but He goes on to demonstrate what compassion is all about. He takes the little lunch of a boy found in the crowd. Oh, just imagine the delight in that young boy to be able to give his lunch to Jesus! “And when He had taken the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples to set before them and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled.” That my friend, is compassion in action! What a great example set by Jesus. No doubt in my mind, Jesus was all about compassion! He still is!
My young student and I talked about Jesus and His compassionate love for a few moments. It warmed my heart to see how this young boy was so open to talking about and receiving Jesus’ compassionate love into his own life. But then, he asked his second question. Brace yourselves!
“So, Ms. Kathy, you’ve been teaching us that we should love the Lord Jesus and that we should strive to be like him. That’s kind of hard to do but I’m starting to work on all that. But I just wonder this – if Jesus could use just one word to describe me, I wonder what one word He would choose?”
Now there is a question well worth pondering!