We dedicated a full day to discussing and practicing compassion during our previous church retreat. We spent the morning reading Bible verses about compassion and related to instances where Jesus was compassionate to the community. In the afternoon, I guided my team through an organized activity to show compassion to individuals near us who needed help. After this exercise, I realized that most Christians today get caught up with life and forget their mandate to show compassion. To fully appreciate its significance, we need to ask ourselves; how many times is compassion mentioned in the Bible?
Compassion appears approximately 145 times in the Bible. It appears both in the Old and New Testaments. Some verses teach us that God Himself is full of compassion and mercy. Other verses remind us of our mandate to be compassionate to others. We also read about instances where Jesus was moved with compassion and helped the needy. Showing compassion is paramount for every Christian.
In this article, I will discuss what the Bible says about compassion. I will also illustrate instances where compassion is mentioned in the Bible. I will also discuss examples of Compassion in the Bible, how Jesus showed compassion, and much more. Read on to learn the meaning of compassion according to the Bible.
What Does the Bible Say About Compassion?
The Bible says that the compassion of the Lord is like that of a father. According to Psalms 103:13, the Lord will show compassion to those who fear Him. In Psalms 116:5, we learn that God is full of grace and compassion towards us. According to Psalms 145:9, He shows compassion over all His creation. He does not favor one or leave the other. Lamentations 3:22 further confirm that God’s compassion is eternal and will never fail. The Bible also instructs us to be compassionate, kind, and gentle and practice patience in Colossians 3:12.
What Is the Meaning of Compassion According to the Bible?
The Bible does not give a direct definition or meaning of compassion. Rather, the meaning is revealed through the scripture. The meaning we deduce from the Bible is beyond seeing a person in need and acknowledging it. Compassion means extending a helping hand, regardless of whatever it takes to ensure that a person receives all the help they need. For instance, in Matthew 14:14, when Jesus saw the crowd that had followed him, he acknowledged their needs and solved them. He taught them, healed their sick, and fed all the 5,000 people.
Instances of Compassion in the Bible
A lot of verses in the Bible teach us about compassion. In Colossians 3:12, we are encouraged to emulate God through compassion, kindness, patience, humility, and gentleness. According to Romans 9:15, God told Moses that He would show compassion to the people He chose. Psalms 116:5 assures us that the Lord is full of compassion towards us. Psalms 145:9 further confirms that God’s compassion is towards all His creation.
Lamentations 3:22 teaches us that we survive by God’s immense compassion for us. Zachariah 7:9 confirms that God gave us the mandate to show justice, mercy, and compassion toward each other. In Matthew 20:24, we read about the instance where Jesus was compassionate to the blind and performed a miracle that brought back their sight. Isaiah 49:15 says that although a mother may forget to show compassion to her child, the Lord will never forget to extend His compassion toward us.
In 2nd Corinthians 1:3, God is called the father of compassion and all comfort. In Isaiah 30:18, we learn that God yearns to shower us with compassion as He is just. Isaiah 54:8 quotes God’s words, which promise eternal kindness and compassion. Lastly, Ephesians 4:32 instructs us to be kind and compassionate to one another, just as Jesus Christ.
How Many Times Is Compassion Used in the Old Testament?
Compassion is used more than 65 times in the Old Testament. Most of these verses illustrate instances where God extended compassion toward His people. For instance, Nehemiah 9:17 talks about how God extended forgiveness, grace, and compassion to people who had gone against Him. These people worshiped idols, but God did not abandon them in the wilderness. On the other hand, Zechariah 7:9 confirms God’s instructions that we should be just, merciful, and compassionate towards each other.
What Are Some Examples of Compassion in the Bible?
The parable of the Good Samaritan, as narrated by Jesus in Luke 10: 25-37, is one of the examples of compassion in the Bible. A man on his way to Jericho, encountered thieves who left him wounded. Of all the people who passed by, only the Samaritan felt compassion for him. He took care of his wounds and took him to a safe place where he was taken of good care.
Another example of compassion is seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son, as narrated by Jesus in Luke 15: 11-24. A son left his father after asking for his share of the inheritance. He spent everything, wasted his inheritance, and turned into a beggar. One day, he returned to his father’s house and asked for forgiveness. His father was compassionate towards him. He forgave him, welcomed him back, and even celebrated his arrival.
How Many Times Was Jesus Moved With Compassion?
Jesus was moved with compassion five times. In Matthew 14:14, he was compassionate when he saw the crowd that had followed him and performed miraculous healing to the sick among them. When he saw how tired and hungry they were, he showed compassion and fed them, as seen in Matthew 15:32.
Again, when Jesus met the two blind men in Matthew 20:34, he was moved by compassion and healed them. Jesus also felt compassion for the leper who was isolated by people and healed him in Mark 1:41. Lastly, the sorrow of the widow of Nain in Luke 7:13, who had lost her only son, stirred Jesus’ compassion, and He resurrected him.
How Did Jesus Show Compassion
Jesus showed compassion by helping those who were in need. He performed miracles to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and resurrect the dead. During His ministry, He moved across different cities, where he encountered different needy people. All those who believed were relieved of their mystery. In John 11:35-40, we see Jesus showing compassion to Martha and Mary, who had lost their brother Lazarus. When Jesus saw the sisters’ sadness, He was compassionate and resurrected Lazarus.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.