KEY THOT: When Jesus saw that the dead man was the only son of a widow, he was moved with compassion and raised him up from the dead. Jesus often ministered to people because he had compassion on them, not because it was his duty:
- Matt 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
- Matt 14:14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
- Matt 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.”
- Mark 1:41-42 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
- Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
And indication that we are motivated by duty rather than compassion is the oft-used expression: "that's not my job!" Jesus never saw his ministry as his "job". His ministry was never defined by his job description as "Savior and Messiah". He saved, he healed, he cast out demons and he raised the dead, not because these were in his job description. He did it simply because he had compassion on the people who were lost. His job description (if any) is simply this: "ministry by compassion."
If we want to be as effective as Jesus was in our ministry (whether it be pastoring, teaching, mentoring, witnessing or worship), we must be motivated by compassion rather than duty. Only compassion can touch the heart of God to work on our behalf: “Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has arisen among us!' and 'God has visited his people!'" (Luke 7:16).
Father God, may You help us see people like You see them—with the eye of compassion for them. May our ministry be motivated not by duty but by compassion. Amen.