Jesus Christ was moved with compassion. We know this is true because it was said of Him in the gospel at least a dozen times. The operation of the Spirit was deeply connected to the emotions of the Savior. There is a profound interworking of compassion with the power of the Spirit.
In the understanding of the people at the time of Christ, compassion meant to be physically moved by someone’s else misfornature. When Jesus was moved with compassion, he literally was changed in the body by what he saw. We call this, “being sick to the stomach.”
This seems to be true in almost every case of a miracle in the gospels. Jesus was physically affected by the needs of the people. It was just some theological truth but has practical application. It is tempting to just think about things in a philosophical way. Jesus moved from doctrine into the practical.
The desire of the Lord has not changed. He still moves with the compassion that moves Him for the hurting of society. The hands and feet of Christ that He uses today is you and me. It is critical for us to understand that what we do is an overflow of what Jesus did while on the earth.
Compassion of Jesus with woman of blood
There is a story in Matthew 9 of a woman with a blood issue that broke all types of Jewish protocols because she was desperate for a miracle.
- Women did not speak with men.
- Menstruation made women unclean.
- Unclean people must keep their distance.
Under Pharisaical law, anything a woman with menorrhagia touched would become unclean, especially cloaks. Yet, she touch the hem of the cloak of the Lord and there is no evidence that He considered the cloak to become unclean.
Jesus did not concern himself with the legal requirements of having an unclean cloak at that time, His focus was on the compassion for the woman who had been pushed away by society.
Jesus saw her passionate cry or the fervent entreaty of the woman and that moved him physically much more than cultural and religious expectations.
Where her act was a desperate for a miracle in her body, it was much than that: it was a cry to remove the social consequences of her disorder in the culture she was born and raised within.
There is no question that the ostracized pariah was in a place of shame and hopelessness. In the culture, she was treated as the worst of society. She could not get married or have a relationship because what was happening. She could no go many places. She could do much of anything. She was humiliated.
Yet, the Lord received her despite all the cultural issues and he called her “daughter” as a sign of acceptance. He went on to tell her that her faith (or desperation) had made her whole.
Compassion met faith and the Spirit moved among them to heal a woman physically and socially.