How Love and Compassion Make the Gospel Beautiful

Some churches focus mainly on compassion and seeking justice for hurting people. Other churches are focused mainly on proclaiming the gospel and discipling people toward spiritual maturity. Who’s right? Both! As Christians, we should lovingly seek the welfare of all those around us while at the same time proclaiming the truth of the gospel.

Sharing the gospel allows people to experience God’s grace and forgiveness of sin. Showing God’s compassion and mercy addresses the consequences of sin rather than passing judgment or condemnation on individuals. 

In the Gospels, Jesus emphasized both preaching the gospel and showing compassion. We need to be balanced in our approach in order to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

One of the most famous passages many Christians quote when it comes to sharing the gospel comes from Matthew 28, where Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. Let’s look at another passage in Matthew 12 and see what we can learn about Jesus’ heart for compassion. 

In verse 1, we see that Jesus’ disciples were gathering food from the grainfields, and the Pharisees got upset that this occurred on the Sabbath. Jesus used it as a teaching opportunity to show the priority of compassion over sacrificial good works (Matt. 12:1-7). When Christ says He “desires compassion,” the word, desire, literally means “pressing into action” or doing the will of God. Compassion literally means mercy or “special and immediate regard to the misery which is the consequence of sins.”

Jesus came not only to seek and save the lost but to proclaim and model compassion and justice by healing hurting humanity (Luke 19:10; Matt. 12:18-21).

Why are some people (including Christians) compassionate and full of love and others are not? Unfortunately, the church has been its own worst enemy in repelling people from the gospel by the caustic words they share with those inside the church and outside of it. Interestingly, the world often condemns Christians because of their lack of love and compassion. Christians should be leading the world in those areas, not the other way around.

Too often, the church is getting caught focusing on worldly marketing techniques instead of love and compassion. Jesus is looking for those who do His will by both sharing the good news of His gospel and by showing compassion to all in the world.

If you are lacking in this area of your life, ask God to impart love and compassion. Think about who you can come alongside and show love. Think about how you can show compassion to those who need it the most.

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