By Pastor Shana Wise
For the past several months we have been examining the books of the gospels. The theme for WCM is The Gospel of Love before that was God Loves Us.
Jesus’ passion was his assignment here on earth. His passion was driven by his compassion for God’s children.
Merriam Webster’s definition of passion: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something 2) the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death
Merriam Webster’s definition of compassion: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc. 2) sympathetic consciousness of other's distress together with a desire to alleviate it
Let us examine Matthew chapter eight and see Jesus’ compassion in action through the various stories.
Matthew chapter eight starts off with a man with leprosy coming to Jesus seeking healing. The verse that caught my attention regarding Jesus’ compassion was, verses 2-3 (NKJV), “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
The man said, “if you are willing” and Jesus responded, “I am willing”. Jesus’ compassion for the leaper and his situation led him to heal him immediately.
Many of us need a special tailor-made miracle that only Jesus can do. Like the leaper, in verse 1 of chapter 8, many of us just need to come to Jesus, as we are, worship Him, and make our request known.
After the story of the leaper, we find the story of the Roman soldier’s request to Jesus (Matthew 8:5-13). He wanted Jesus to heal his servant by just speaking the word of healing. Jesus was so impressed by this soldier’s request, that not only did he heal his servant through compassion, but he used his request to teach the crowds about faith.
The next act of compassion we see in Matthew 8:14-17 is Jesus’ healing Peters’ mother-in-law and healing demon-possessed people.
One verse that can be a teaching point for us is found in verse 15, “So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them”. Peter’s mother-in-law benefited from the compassion of Christ, and she chose to immediately start serving Jesus and his disciples. What was your response after Jesus showed you compassion through healing? Serving Jesus immediately after you have received his compassionate acts shows a sign of gratefulness.
After this story, Jesus talks about the cost of following him in Matthew 8:18-22. Verse 22 states, “But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead”. Jesus will test our passion concerning Him. We must be willing to give up everything and follow Jesus immediately to be his disciples.
The next story we find is Jesus calming the storm we he and the disciples were on the boat (Matthew 8:23-27). Verse 26 states, Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
Isn’t it amazing that when Jesus moves with compassion miracles happen immediately? We have the same Holy Spirit power when we move in the compassion of Christ as well. Compassion will cause us to fervently pray, help someone in need, and be totally available for God’s use.
Chapter eight ends with Jesus casting the demons out of the two men in the graveyard. Jesus was intentional about crossing the lake to deliver these men from demons.
Compassion will drive us to go to places that no one else wants to go. Compassion will cause us to be intentional when it comes to meeting the needs of others. Compassion in action will not always be received by others (Mat.8:34) and you will be rejected and sometimes asked to leave. Yet we must remember the passion and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Matthew 18:10-14 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
We have a saying at the church, “we show up for the one”. We understand that one day we were “the one” that Jesus came to save. This was an unselfish, intentional, and amazing type of love demonstrated to us by the Father. He showed up and continues to show up for us every day, and our gratitude is demonstrated through our services to others.
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor who founded and oversees Wise Choice Ministries with her husband Pastor Ron Wise. She is also the CEO and founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network. Dr. Wise is the author of Women’s Devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and the Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate it through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist who appears on social media outlets. Shana is married and has four children.
For speaking engagements email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Acts of Intercession
The Impact of Your Election
Basic Ministry Training Manual
Chief Women Arise
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