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When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

The English definition of compassion is a ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.’ While that is a noble gesture, the English word for compassion doesn’t come close to giving us the picture God intends for us to have of compassion ‘God’s way’.

The Greek word for compassion in Matthew 14 is the word splanchnizomai. Okay, it doesn’t really matter how it’s pronounced. What’s more important is what it means to you and me. The word translated in English means ‘from the gut’. It gives the idea that Jesus didn’t just have a ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress.

When Jesus saw the leper he actually FELT his loneliness right down to his shoe laces…okay, sandal straps. Even so, it wasn’t just a kind gesture. He actually felt the despair of the young mom whose daughter was lying dead in the upper room. His eyes teared up as he climbed the stairs while mourners wailed in the background. He felt the fear that gripped the father as he watched his son go into yet another demon-powered seizure. He felt the darkness and confusion of the blind man who had never seen the faces of his mother or father or any of the other family members that cared for him on a daily basis.

One of the most meaningless statements a person can make to someone is, “I know exactly how you feel.” Have you ever had someone say that to you? Come on now, be honest. Just between you and me, didn’t you want to deck them? Didn’t every nerve in your body want to scream “NO YOU DON’T! HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY KNOW HOW I FEEL?” Maybe you’ve even decked a few people physically or emotionally. The words flew out before you could be ‘socially appropriate’.

Fact of the matter is. You were right. No one can climb inside your heart and feel what you are feeling. No one that is except Jesus. You may not always feel his presence, but he’s aware of every one of your thoughts, emotions and pain. His gut hurts when he feels the pain you are in. That’s compassion. That’s Jesus.

He doesn’t only feel your pain every bit as much as you do. He wants to heal you. He wants to build a relationship with you that enables you to sleep through the storms, to endure the trials and overcome the enemy. He’s never too tired. Never to angry with you. Never far away.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for the fact that you not only understand my pain, you feel it from the bottom of your gut. No one understands my pain. No one sees how much I’m hurting inside like you do. Help me to feel your presence in my life in a way I’ve never felt before. Forgive me for my part in the bad choices I’ve made. Empower me with your Spirit to grow in relationship with you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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