An Encounter with Compassion

From the LYWB.com Team: We’re shaking things up a bit round here on the Lies blog. Instead of blog posts, we’re leading you through an online Bible study. The study comes from Erin’s newest books, A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters. You don’t need copies of the books to participate, just yourself and your Bible. We will return to regularly scheduled programming October 9. Grab your Bible (and maybe your journal and a pen), and join us as we look at Jesus through the eyes of four New Testament women. (Psst . . . be sure to keep reading for your chance to win signed copies of A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters.)

Yesterday, we read about Jarius’ daughter. (If you missed that post, you can check it out here.)

As a group of shocked family and friends gathered to mourn the death of a sick girl, Jesus said something strange to the crowd.

Grab your Bible or click to an online source like biblegateway.com, and read Luke 8:51–56.

Why did Jesus tell the crowd to “stop crying”?

Sometimes when we tell others not to cry we want them to shut off the waterworks because it makes us uncomfortable. Other times, we simply don’t know what else to say. But when Jesus says, “Don’t cry,” He means something entirely different!

Compassion = love in action.

In the case of Jarius’ daughter, Jesus cut the mourners short because He was going to do something about their grief. To them, the situation seemed hopeless, but Jesus knew better. When He told them to stop crying, He wasn’t asking them to suck it up and pretend that everything was okay. He was letting them know that hope was coming to a situation that seemed hopeless. He was moved with compassion for the girl and those who loved her.

Compassion goes beyond feeling sorry for someone. Compassion = love in action.

Don’t Bury Hope

Read Luke 7:11–12.

No doubt this woman was grieved by the death of her son, but her situation was much more desperate than that. The Bible tells us she was a widow, meaning her husband had also died. That means the responsibility to care for her financial and physical needs would likely shift to her son. Now her only son was dead, and she had been left absolutely destitute. This situation looked hopeless. Her story reminds me to keep two little words on repeat.

But God . . .

Check out Psalm 42:11:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

When we stand at the graveside of something or someone that matters to us, we are forced to ask the question this momma must have asked: “Where does my hope come from?”

Read Luke 7:13–17.

Why did Jesus tell this grieving mother not to cry? Because He was about to respond with compassion and bring her boy back from the grave.

My heart wants to burst from these words:

And Jesus gave him to his mother (v. 15).

Talk about love in action! While this woman was still dressed in her funeral clothes, Jesus intervened, raised the dead man back to life, and tenderly handed him back to his momma.

A Beautiful Response

The Bible records three responses to the resurrection of the widow’s son by the crowds who witnessed this miracle.

Initial response: THEY EXPERIENCED FEAR.

The word fear in this passage may not mean they were afraid. More likely they developed a healthy sense of respect and awe because of the power Jesus demonstrated. God’s Word asks us to have a similar response to God (Eccl. 12:13).

Next response: THEY GLORIFIED GOD.

Remember Luke 7:16?

And they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

Final response: THEY TOLD OTHERS.

I’m sure they told the story of the widow’s son, but they didn’t stop there. They instinctively knew that Jesus’ ability to raise the dead made Him extraordinary. They proclaimed that Jesus was a great prophet and that God had visited them.

He sees our desperate circumstances and responds with love in action.

When Jesus puts love into action, He does more than just change our circumstances; He helps us to see Him for who He really is. Then we have a chance to tell others that compassion is part of Jesus’ character. He sees our desperate circumstances and responds with love in action.

In this life we will still have to bury those we love, and death will remain an inevitable part of our experience. But if your situation feels hopeless, dry your eyes. Our hope is set on Jesus, whose compassion heals our brokenness and whose resurrection power gives everlasting life.

How has Jesus showed compassion toward you? Leave me a comment with your honest answer below. I’ll choose one of you to win signed copies of A Beautiful Story and Beautiful Encounters.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s study! It’s our final post in this Bible study series.

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

  • * Requests or gives personal information such as email address, address, or phone number.
  • * Attacks other readers.
  • * Uses vulgar or profane language.