By Grady Sutton

“When He went ashore, He saw a great crowd and He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 6:34

It has always amazed me that when God Himself took on human flesh and blood and walked among us in a pagan world, that He was known for His compassion. One would think that the sin and evil of our world would have been met with righteous anger. And yet, Jesus, the God-man in perfect holiness, gives us a beautiful picture into the heart of true compassion. His stories often turned on compassion (Good Samaritan in Luke 10, Prodigal Son in Luke 15). Jesus exemplified compassion for individuals (Widow at Nain in Luke 7). And he was often moved with compassion for the lost (Matthew 9 and 14, Mark 6). The compassion of Jesus is most often preceded by Him seeing. He sees the widow. He sees the crowds. The Father sees His prodigal son. The Good Samaritan sees the beat-up traveler. Perhaps compassion is tied to seeing. May God give us eyes to see and compassion to love like Jesus.


Our biggest obstacle to compassion for others is that we tend to be too focused on ourselves. Who do you see every day that needs the compassion of Jesus? Stop today and pray with someone. Ask them if they have a need and if you can pray with them. Talking to the Father about the needs of others is a great way to show compassion.


Focus on others. Don’t let your world revolve around you. Go out of your way to show compassion. Pray with someone at school, practice, work, or at home. Find out who they are and what they’re dealing with and show them how much Jesus loves them.


Challenge your children to think about someone who needs to experience compassion this week. Identify one kid that your child can show compassion to by sitting with them at lunch, writing a note, or bringing them a small gift.


Lord, forgive me for when I have not shown compassion. Help me to stop focusing on myself long enough to see the needs of those around me. May my heart be burdened by their greatest need — to know the God who loves them.