I. Compassion is the deep awareness of the suffering of another and the desire to relieve the suffering.
A. Jesus illustrated compassion
1. Matthew 14:14 - it was compassion that led Jesus to heal the sick
2. Matthew 20:30-34 - the healing of two blind men
3. Mark 1:40-41 - Jesus was moved with compassion to heal the leper
4. Luke 7:11-14 - He had compassion on the widow in Nain
5. Even his teaching came from compassion - Mark 6:34
B. This is why Jesus is described as our compassionate High Priest - Hebrews 4:15-16
C. We are expected to follow the Lord’s example
1. I Peter 3:8-9 - We are to be compassionate towards each other
2. Jude 21-23 - Compassion on the lost
II. One thing that characterized the Pharisees was their lack of compassion
A. The Pharisee and the tax collector - Luke 18:9-14
1. It might be true that the Pharisee fasted twice a week and gave tithes
2. Perhaps he had not committed the various sins he listed.
3. But does that explain his contempt for his fellow man?
B. The man with the withered hand - Mark 3:1-6
1. The hardness of these people’s heart grieved our Savior.
2. There was no concern for the man, their focus was on finding fault in Jesus.
3. And when the man was healed, there was no rejoicing
C. The sinful woman - Luke 7:36-50
1. Even though Simon failed in his duties as a host: he did not greet his guest nor did he see to his comfort, yet he was shocked that Jesus would allow a sinful woman to touch him.
2. Jesus pointed out that this woman gave of herself to care for just his feet.
3. Simon wasn’t interested in the forgiveness of sins, but in avoiding sinful people.
D. The man born blind - John 9:24-34
1. Notice any compassion for this man who was born blind?
2. Jesus had pointed out that this man was not blind because of sin - John 9:1-3
3. Yet, these Pharisees were convinced that the man was born in sin - John 9:34
4. The blind man’s thoughts were clear and reasonable, but they were rejected because of the source.
III. The Pharisees thought they were above the poor, the handicapped, and the sinner
A. Christians are to be willing to associate with the lowly - Romans 12:16
B. The world is filled with people who will not associate with the poor - Proverbs 19:7
C. Why is it that we do not show compassion? - Luke 10:30-37
IV. It continues today
A. I am told at times that so-and-so is teaching some false doctrine.
1. My usual response is have you talked to him about this?
2. The usual answer is no. They actually never talked to him, it was just something they were told.
3. So, they are willing to leave someone in sin.
B. I’ve seen people condemned for talking to an “unapproved” brother
1. Why is there an assumption that communication implies approval?
2. How is a person led out of sin without contact and communication?
V. Do we show the compassion of Jesus or the intolerance of the Pharisees?
A. Does our concern pull us to teach even the least sinner?
B. When our brother stumbles do we hold him with contempt?
C. Let us examine ourselves