This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
Compassion is sympathetic pity or concern for the suffering of other people (according to the Paperback Oxford English Dictionary)
The Bible depicts a compassionate God.
Jesus’ disciples tell how his way of showing compassion surprised them
When we heard that Jesus’ cousin, the prophet John the Baptist, had been beheaded, we had to break the news to our Master. Jesus naturally wanted time away from the crowds to grieve. We took him by boat to a remote place. However the people somehow knew where he had gone and followed us on foot. Jesus had compassion on them. He put their needs before his own, healing the sick people they had carried to him.
We were a long way from the anywhere food could be bought and it was almost evening. So we suggested to Jesus that he send the crowds away so they could get something to eat. His reply surprised us.
‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’
We only had two loaves of bread and two small fish. There were thousands of people.
Jesus asked us to give him the food. He told the people to sit on the ground in rows.
Then he took the food, blessed it by giving thanks to God, broke it and gave it to us to distribute. All the crowds and all of us had plenty to eat. Five thousand men as well as women and children were all fed from two loaves and two fish.
And there was food to spare! We filled twelve baskets with the broken pieces we picked up afterwards.
Some time later we were with Jesus as he was healing people on a mountainside. The people praised God for the healing of those who were lame, blind, crippled, unable to speak or who had other infirmities. Jesus had compassion on them, because they had been with him for three days and there was nothing for them to eat. We had just seven loaves and a few small fish from the Sea of Galilee, which was not far away.
Again Jesus asked the people to sit down on the ground. He gave thanks for the food, broke it and gave it to his disciples to distribute to the people. Everyone had sufficient. There were four thousand men as well as women and children. Afterwards we filled seven baskets with the pieces left over.