But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Christ has anointed us by His Spirit to carry out His mission on earth while He is in heaven. We are called to do what He did; to meet the needs of mankind –spiritual, mental and physical. We do this because we have new, converted hearts and are motivated and compelled by God’s love shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit (Romans 5:5).
All who have been converted and received the mind of Jesus will share His desire for the salvation of souls. But Jesus was also concerned about people’s temporal needs – the need for physical and mental healing, for compassion and non-judgemental friendship.
Jesus’ Attitude Towards People
Love was the source of all Christ’s attitudes towards people. Because of His great love for fallen mankind, He had volunteered to divest Himself of the prerogatives of the Godhead and come to earth as the Son of Man so that He could do for them what they could not do for themselves. He knew that men and women are slaves of sin and He came to set them free.
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin…Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34, 36
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:12, 13
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1
Jesus’ Treatment of People
One of the most beautiful passages describing Jesus’ treatment of people is found in the book of Isaiah:
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold. My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. Isaiah 42:1-4
Jesus was gracious, compassionate and kind and forgiving. He did not excuse sin, but He loved sinners and recognised that sin was a power in their lives that they could not banish in their own strength.
And all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. Luke 4:22
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Compassion and Kindness
Jesus attitude to the helpless is often described as ‘compassion’ in the gospels, which abound with the stories of Christ’s healing.
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. Matthew 14:14
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36
Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. Matthew 15:32
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:40, 41
When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Luke 7:13-15
Jesus was the Friend of sinners. Most people knew Him as a friend before they knew Him as Redeemer. He was often accused by the Pharisees as being ‘the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34).
Jesus’ Healing Ministry
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction. Psalm 103:2-4
The Psalmist declared the mission of Jesus. The consequence of mankind’s rebellion was sin, sickness and death. By His redeeming work, Christ would restore us to health, happiness and holiness.
Since Adam and Eve sinned, every human being born into this world is born with the sickness of sin. This can manifest itself in various ways; a mind that refuses to be controlled by God, but rather by self and Satan; a spirit that does not submit itself to God. This leads to unholy and unrighteous living with its attendant consequences of guilt and shame. This mental state caused by sin leads to many illnesses (psychosomatic disease). Furthermore, since the whole creation is fallen, our physical bodies can develop disease through no obvious fault of our own. But God had compassion upon us and sent Jesus to heal us.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10
Christ did not merely proclaim His mission (Luke 4:16-21). He demonstrated it in His ministry…men saw and heard that He brought physical, mental and spiritual healing to those in need of it.
When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Luke 7:20-23 (and Matthew 11:3-5)
Christ gave men and women spiritual, mental and physical healing. He did this by the power of the Spirit, because He had laid aside His divine Omnipotence when He came to earth.
Jesus’ mission statement is ours too. This is what He calls us to do if we call ourselves His disciples:
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:7, 8
We can do this only in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What Matters to Jesus
“Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you have done it unot Me.” Matthew 25:40
The three end-time parables of Matthew 25 teach us that we must be filled with the Spirit, that we should use the gifts of the Spirit to be a blessing to others. The love of Christ poured out in our hearts by His Spirit will result in our having the mind and heart of Christ, helping all those who are in need.
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:34-40
‘In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents the faithful work they have done for Him.’ Desire of Ages: p. 637
Today we are called to carry out Christ’s mission to the world as described in Luke 4:18, 19. Are we willing to follow in His footsteps? It will require self-denial, patience and compassion for all who do not know the glorious gospel of God. It will definitely take us out of our comfort zones. But we have ever before us the Example of One who gave up heaven to come down to earth and destroy the works of the devil by His death at Calvary. Looking unto Him, we shall not count anything too much to save one soul. And one day soon, we shall hear His voice saying to us, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ In His presence, we shall have joy eternal and the joy of knowing that we have led many to life everlasting by introducing them to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
‘And you shall be named the priests of the Lord…the servants of our God.’ Isaiah 61:6
For the love of Christ compels us…2 Corinthians 5:14