ESOCS Devotional 10 November 2023 – The Compassionate Saviour
MEMORY VERSE: “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat.” Mark 8:2
TEXT: MARK 8:1-10 (KJV)
In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.
7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
One key attribute of God that is fully revealed in the Bible is His compassion. The Bible often tells us that God is compassionate. It is His nature; His delight is to show mercy. This attribute was fully manifested by our Lord Jesus throughout His earthly ministry. To be compassionate is to be sympathetic and conscious of the distress of others with a strong desire to alleviate such distress. Compassion goes beyond mere pity and willingness to sympathize with others. It is the pity that is accompanied by a strong desire to help in relieving those in distress. Compassion stirs us to help those who are in distress. Our salvation is a product of God’s compassion. It is the compassion He had on us that made Him to send His only Son to rescue us from destruction and put us on the path of salvation. This same compassion was demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ all through His time on the earth. Even in the middle of His own suffering on the cross He yet showed compassion when He entreated the Father to forgive the same people that nailed Him on the cross. By this action, He further proved that compassion is a thing of the nature.
When Christ was showing compassion, He was simply manifesting the nature of God. It takes selflessness for one to be able to show compassion because compassion requires putting the needs of others first. It is such selflessness that made Jesus to lay down His life for mankind “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
In our study text, we see another great example of Jesus’ act of compassion towards the people, which led to the miraculous multiplication of food. Through this act he taught the disciples to put the need of others first. He sought neither for His own satisfaction nor the satisfaction of the disciples but ensured that the satisfaction of the people came first. We, as Jesus’ followers are expected to do the same because whatever God does to us He wants us to replicate in the life of others. Having received the nature of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit we can and should exhibit the character of God.
Our Lord Jesus set an example for us to follow. He showed compassion to both the spiritual and physical distress of the people. For our miserable spiritual condition, He offered Himself to die and for our material distress he ensured a relief. He raised the death, he healed the sick, and he provided for the needy. These are all acts of compassion.
Today we can follow in his example by getting involved in the preaching of the gospel which is the only hope for a lost world and also by constantly participating in charity projects that are targeted towards relieving the distressed and the disadvantaged in the society.
FURTHER READING: Matthew 9:36; Luke 7:13; 1 Peter 3:8
ESOCS Devotional 10 November 2023