Text: Mark 7:31-37
One of the most endearing qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ is compassion.
Compassion: A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow
In 1975 a child named Raymond Dunn, Jr., was born in New York State. The Associated Press reports that at his birth, a skull fracture and oxygen deprivation caused severe retardation. As Raymond grew, the family discovered further impairments. His twisted body suffered up to twenty seizures per day. He was blind, mute, and immobile. He had severe allergies that limited him to only one food: A meat-based formula made by Gerber Foods.
In 1985, Gerber stopped making the formula that Raymond lived on. Carol Dunn scoured the country to buy what stores had in stock, accumulating cases and cases, but in 1990 her supply ran out. In desperation, she appealed to Gerber for help. Without this particular food, Raymond would starve to death.
The employees of the company listened. In an unprecedented action, volunteers donated hundreds of hours to bring out old equipment, set up production lines, obtain special approval from the USDA, and produce the formula—all for one special boy.
In January 1995, Raymond Dunn, Jr, known as the Gerber boy, died from his physical problems. But during his brief lifetime he called forth a wonderful thing called compassion.
Our God looks down upon us with care, and concern, and He will do everything in His power to help us.
– but God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Compassion is God’s Way vs 32 …they beseech him to put his hand upon him
- The people want healing, but the Lord Jesus Christ wants to reveal the character of God. He’s going to do what they want, but in a better way. Crowd has its idea of how things should go. The folks bringing the man have good intentions. They want to lay the man before Jesus so He can touch the man to be healed. But Jesus Christ doesn’t just want him to just be healed, he wants the man to know that he loves him personally.
- Our ways and our solutions are to end the problem as quickly as we can. Just fix it Lord! But God has a way of fixing the problem while revealing an aspect of Himself to you that ministers compassion because it is personal. Jesus Christ doesn’t want to be known as the one that can heal you, He wants to be known as God incarnate who LOVES you and desires to walk with you and fellowship with you. There are several ways Jesus Christ can heal this man, he could have touched him. He could have spoken the words right then and there. He could’ve healed the man as they brought him to him. But he chooses the way that communicates to the man a personal interest in his own life
- First Decisions were decisions of compassion: – Sacrifice–Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
- Why does God send warnings? Why does He send preachers? Why does He send prophets? To warn people
- the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance Romans 2:4, – im guilty of thinking and praying that someone would just get tired of the world and turn to God. But its not getting beat up by the world or the devil or the flesh that turns someone to the Lord, it is the goodness of God.
Compassion is Personal – vs 33 And he took him aside from the multitude…
- Here is a man who lived in isolation. If you can’t communicate it is impossible to have relationships. Here is an outcast from society and for the first time in his adult life someone purposely brings him aside to be with him. To see him face to face and to love him.
- Everything Jesus Christ is about to do is for this one man. Not the cattle call
- You say I know God loves US, I know Jesus died on the cross for US. No, he loves YOU. He died on the cross for YOU. He made a way for YOU to enjoy eternal life starting now.
- He takes the man away from the multitude and sits across from him face to face making sure it is just the two of them. Get rid of the distraction in order to spend some private time with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Starfish Illustration – make a difference to this one
- He is not serving up the masses, He shows compassion one heart at a time.
- The Lord Jesus Christ wants personal time with you. He wants to spend time with you away from distractions, private time, just you and him.
- He wasn’t in the whirlwind, the fire, or the earthquake, He was the still small voice. Jesus Christ doesn’t demand your time. In fact the things that God commands never demand your time. He is available.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is personally interested in you because that’s His character. He doesn’t love people, He loves you.
Compassion is Understanding vs 33-34 …and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him Ephphatha…
- Gets him away from the crowd because the man is deaf and Jesus Christ can’t speak to him to tell him what to do, so he is going to show him. In order to communicate visually, sign language, he gets him away from the bustling crowd where it is just he and the Lord Jesus Christ. You say what is the Lord Jesus Christ doing? That’s weird. It’s weird if you’re not deaf, but if you’re deaf it makes sense. Jesus Christ is visually showing him what he’s about to do because he can’t tell him. The man is deaf. So Jesus Christ is communicating – sign language – fingers in the ears meaning I understand your problem. You don’t have to tell me or show me, I understand. He spits and touches his tongue meaning I also understand there something wrong with your mouth. You don’t have to tell me or show me, I understand. Communicating that the speech impediment is going to be fixed.
- The man isn’t healed until the Lord speaks the words. So the gestures he’s making up to this point are to communicate a truth to him. That truth is, “I understand your frailties.”
- And looking up to heaven – now he visibly points his gaze in the direction of the source of all help. he sighed and saith unto him, Ephphatha – a complicated and kind of funny word because of the muscular gymnastics your lips and tongue must perform. But it was the word that made clear to a man who had to read lips exactly what He said.
- The 4 y/o boy and the elderly widow man. “I helped him cry.”
- Encourage you to turn to the compassionate Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:15 A high priest who was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin.
- We say, well of course I’m turning to Jesus Christ. I came to church didn’t I?!
Compassion is Effective vs 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
- The compassion of Jesus Christ is effectual, it works. It has the effect of opening what sin has closed and liberating what sin has bound.
- Tears will equip you for the office of sympathy – ministry is the result of God’s compassion in your life and equipping you to be a vessel for Him to use in someone else’s life.
- You and I are here tonight as a direct result of the Lord’s compassion
- You may say, Well, I might get taken for granted. And you go pout in a corner. And you look beside you and realize who you’re sitting by – It’s the Lord Jesus Christ.
- While compassion may taken for granted, it has done an effective work in you.
Compassion is Sacrificial vs 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man…
- Mark 7:24 he could not be hid. He’s already passed through here and healed a man possessed of the Legion. He has preached the circuit and desire private time.
- Choose compassion over his own convenience. Sacrifice means what I’m about to do is going to cost me. You will reap the benefit and I’ll get the bill. If there is anything that characterized Jesus Christ it is this right here.
- In Mark 10:45 you have the theme of Jesus Christ’s life and reason for leaving heaven, For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.