© Rosemary Bardsley 2017


Matthew 5:43-38
James 5:12
Ephesians 4:32-5:2

The definition, description and measure of love are found in two words – JESUS CHRIST.


COMPASSION – a blend of

And no condemnation.

Let us see how this worked out in the life and teaching of Jesus. As we do so we will find that the exercise of compassion involves a deliberate choice, a reasoned response – a rejection of all that excludes compassion and a pro-active determination to be compassionate, just like Jesus.



1.    LEVI AND HIS FRIENDS (Mark 2:13-17)

Compassion versus criticism.

2.    THE FIVE THOUSAND MEN (Mark 6:30-44)

Compassion versus personal comfort.

3.    THE WIDOW OF NAIN (Luke 7:11-15)

Compassion versus necessity.

4.    THE CRIPPLED WOMAN (Luke 13:10-17)

Compassion versus religious legalism.


1.    THE GOOD SAMARITAN (Luke 10:25-37)

Compassion versus personal safety.

2.    THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT (Matthew 18:22ff)

Compassion versus condemnation
Compassion versus perceived personal ‘rights’.

3.    THE OLDER BROTHER (Luke 15:11-32)

Compassion versus self-righteousness
Compassion versus anger.



This is the kind of compassion demonstrated by Jesus and commanded by Jesus.

It is a tall order.

If we try to act with compassion because we must do it, we will never do it.

It will be forced.
It will be self-centred.
It will not be the compassion of Jesus.

It is only as we KNOW him, and RESPOND to him and his love, that his kind of compassion will grow in us.

Loving is not something we do because we have to.
Loving is not something we do to earn personal merit.
Loving is the outworking of the amazement and overwhelming gratitude generated by his love for us.
The more his love impacts us, the more we will pass it on.

As John wrote:

We love because he first loved us (1John 4:19).