Jesus Showed Sympathy

Jesus Showed Sympathy

Scripture: Matthew 14:14, 2 Kings 13:23, John 11:35
Date: 08/20/2016  Lesson: 8
"How can your church be made into a safe, healing place for the brokenhearted?"
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Good morning, friends, we'd like to welcome you all to Sabbath School Study Hour. A very warm welcome, once again, to our friends joining us across the country and around the world for our extended Sabbath school class today. Also, a warm welcome to the members here at the Granite Bay church and those who are visiting with us - also our afcoe team that's joining us today - a very warm welcome to you. Afcoe is the Amazing Facts center of evangelism. We have a number of students that are joining us for a four-month training program starting this weekend.

So welcome, glad you're here. Now, before we get to our study of our lesson today, we would like to let you know about a free offer that we have, a book written by Pastor Doug Batchelor called the truth about mary magdalene. It's a great Bible study looking at this important Bible character in the new testament. Mary magdalene - if you'd like to receive a free copy of our offer today, give us a call on the resource phone number - the number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #801 - that number, again, is 866-788-3966 - offer #801 - a book called the truth about mary magdalene and we'll be happy to send that to anybody in North America who gives us a call and asks. Before we get to our study dealing with Jesus showing sympathy - it's lesson #8 in our lesson quarterly - we always like to begin by lifting our voices in praise.

So I'd like to invite our song leaders to join me and join in with us as we sing together. (Soft piano music) thank you, Pastor Ross. Well, this week we're going to sing about heaven. The world is really in a bad place and it gets worse every day so the hope that we have is going to heaven and we're going to sing about that. Hymn #633 - when we all get to heaven - what a day of rejoicing that will be! We'll sing the first, the third and the last verses of #633.

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, sing his mercy and his grace; in the mansions bright and blessed he'll prepare for us a place. When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory! Let us then be true and faithful, trusting serving every day; just one glimpse of him in glory will the toils of life repay. When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory! Onward to the prize before us! Soon his beauty we'll behold; soon the pearly gates will open - we shall tread the streets of gold! When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory! I pray that you are looking forward to that day like we are. At this time, Pastor Ross will lead us in prayer. Thank you so much.

What a beautiful song. Now, before we get to our study, from time to time here at the Granite Bay church, we like to highlight one mission activity or some outreach that some of our members are involved in - maybe something that Amazing Facts is doing - and so I'm just delighted that tammy is with us again. Tammy is a member of the Granite Bay church from the very beginning, but she and her husband dave - tammy and dave steensen have spent quite a while down in southern Mexico embarking on a mission endeavor that the church has sort of encouraged and participated with them. So, from time to time, tammy's able to give us an update on what's been going on down in southern Mexico. So tammy, welcome - we're glad you're here.

Thank you, pastor. I am going to - it's on - yes. Thank you, pastor. Welcome everyone and it is great to see my church family here. I am back for four months to be with the afcoe session, but I just recently came from Mexico - I was down there for eight months.

And we have, if you don't know, my husband and I - David - have a health and education center down there in a local village called masumiapan veracruz. Alright, we've got some pictures. I want to give you the remote - and if you want to kind of walk us through those pictures it would be great to see what's been happening down there. Thank you. Well, I don't know if any of you remember but there was a family that we were working with - good friends of ours now - knit into our hearts.

And his name is sergio - his wife's name is anna and they have four precious little children. There's one of them missing out of this picture or two, but they had this home before - I don't know if you remember the pictures that we showed the last time we were here eight months ago - and the project was completed and they are now living in this nice three-bedroom home with the bathroom that has toilets that flush and running water and they have a kitchen area - and so they were blessed and I was blessed when I came back and saw that family and their faces were priceless. Can you imagine, when they saw me coming off the plane they were there to greet me and they brought me back to the village and I was able to see their home for the very first time. And they're happy. And they're inviting people in and having fellowship there.

Well, then after that, I saw the project - well, we put wings on our shoes and we were off running and we went from church to church to church to church to church because why? Because our goal and our vision is to train up lay people in medical missionary work. Yes, we have a health and education center out of our home, but we also like to do a lot of training for the churches down there in Mexico. And one of our biggest projects was a one-month training of medical missionary work in a place called tobasco ciudad pemex. And we stayed there for a month and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We had some massage classes.

We had some seminar - health seminars of lifestyle changes that they could be taking place in their life and we had some cooking classes and they enjoyed it so much that they asked us to come back. This is the door that Christ wants us to open in our communities everywhere. There is a time and the time is now for more and more medical missionary work. I hope and pray that if you're able, you'll participate. And if you're not, you will pray and support, in any way you can, these means to be able to bring that to the people of our world today, to be a light for Christ.

Amen. Well, thank you so much, tammy, for sharing with us. We're very excited to see the reports from time to time, and this is really taking the Gospel and medical ministry - putting it together and ministering to the physical needs of people and then moving into their spiritual needs. And that sort of ties in with our lesson for today. We're talking about how Jesus showed sympathy to the people.

Thank you, tammy, for sharing. We appreciate that. Our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by our afcoe director - and afcoe is the Amazing Facts center of evangelism. We have a four-month program that is starting right here at the Amazing Facts center and chuck holtry will be teaching our lesson today - lesson #8 - talking about how Jesus showed sympathy. Happy Sabbath.

Happy Sabbath. It's good to see you here this morning. What does it mean to have sympathy? How does one have sympathy? There's all kinds of ideas of what sympathy is, but today we're going to take some time to go step by step through our Bible and understand what is sympathy? How is that sympathy shown? What does sympathy consist of? I'd like to start with a story: February 18, 1952, one of the worst storms to hit the northeast coast of the United States was brewing. The waves right off the coast of Massachusetts were reaching swells of 40 to 60-feet high. The wind was blowing forty miles an hour.

Snow was coming down. It was just a terrible situation and the chatham coast guard station received a call. They received a call that there was a tanker in distress. Due to the heavy waves, the tanker had split in half which, unfortunately, happened to quite a few during that era, just because of the poor construction. Tanker'd split in half and soon a coast guard team was sent out around - to get out - the seas were quite dangerous, but they were going to go ahead anyhow.

And not too much longer they got another call that another tanker had broken apart that night and it was just a mile or two off the coast of cape cod. The only way to get there was to go across the bar in extremely dangerous seas. There was a man who was willing to do it. His name was bernie. Bernie was willing to do it, but getting a team to go was another.

It was a volunteer group and they said, at the time that they found out about this, almost no one wanted to be there. They put out the call and they looked around and it seemed everyone was scarce, but three men agreed to join him. So bernie and his three men jumped aboard a 36-foot coast guard vessel to take on 60-foot waves and 40-mile-an-hour winds. Incredible story - they heard a call - and that's the first thing that I want to share this morning, is that - sympathy hears. We're learning four things today about sympathy.

The first thing we want to look at is this: sympathy hears. You got that? Sympathy - hears. Hears. If you open your Bibles with me to Judges chapter 2, we're going to look at a few old testament texts - it's kind of beautiful because it gives a picture of the God of the old testament here - Judges chapter 2 and we will look at verse 16 - Judges 2 - starting with verse 16. The Bible says, "nevertheless the Lord raised up Judges, who delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Yet they would not hearken unto their Judges, but they went a whoring after other Gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so." Now Judges 2 is interesting because it gives you a big picture of the whole book of Judges. People fall down into sin. They go through - what do you call this? - They go through a difficult time under abuse from enemy tribes and then they see their danger and they call out to God and a judge is raised up and they're taken out of their difficult time. And then, once everything is okay they start doing bad things again. You had this cycle in Judges.

In Judges 2 it shows this cycle: it says, 'God freed them.' But then they chose to go and not follow God's commandments - verse 18, "and when the Lord raised them up Judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them." So here are these disobedient Israelites not doing what God has asked them to do, totally turning their back on him, not obeying him, but he hears their groanings and that is good news this morning. God hears the groanings even of disobedient people. He hears the groanings. He sees what people are going through. You know, another text our lesson gives - I like to look at - Isaiah chapter 54 - Isaiah chaspter 54 - and we'll look at verse 5 - excuse me, verses 7, 8, and 10 - Isaiah 54 - we're looking at verses 7, 8, and then 10.

"For a small moment" - this is God speaking here in verse 7 - "'for a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee,' saith the Lord thy redeemer." - Verse 10 - "'for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,' saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Amen. This is Isaiah speaking to a really disobedient, unfaithful church and he's speaking of God's hearing. He cares about them. God has compassion.

God's compassion is not limited to our obedience. You can say 'amen'. Amen. God's compassion is not limited to our obedience. Did he only hear people that claimed to be his? No.

No. You know, one of my favorite people to talk about is in Daniel chapter 2 and it's not Daniel, although he's a great man, it's Nebuchadnezzar. You might turn there real quick with me - Daniel chapter 2. In Daniel chapter 2 we have pagan king Nebuchadnezzar who has just done some really bad things to God's people. Yes, God's using him to do that, I believe, carrying out his plans, ultimately.

But in Daniel chapter 2, verse 29 Daniel is speaking to Nebuchadnezzar and he says this, "as for thee, o king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter:" - so he said 'you were sleeping on your bed - you were laying down thinking about 'what's the future going to hold?' 'What's going to take place after this?' - "And he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass." Nebuchadnezzar was laying on his bed thinking, 'what's the future hold?' And the God of heaven came down and said, 'I hear you, Nebuchadnezzar. Let me tell you.' That's awesome. Amen. Not only does God hear, and have compassion on those that are his people, backslidden though they may be, but he also hears those that are pagan. You know, there are several instances of Jesus doing this.

You remember that canaanite woman with the woman that was possessed - with the daughter that was possessed? She comes and she begs Jesus, 'please come and heal my daughter.' And then Jesus does that - that - that unusual response for Jesus, just to see how his disciples pay attention. You know, 'should I give food to the dogs?' Remember her response? 'Yes, but even the dogs eat the crumbs from their master's table. You've got to take care of me.' And he did. He heard her cry. Did it make a difference that Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king? Did it make a difference that this canaanite woman was of a pagan tribe? There's the centurion in Matthew chapter 8, 'please come heal my servant.

' There's the macedonian in the vision of Paul - 'come to us.' God hears the groaning of the people on this planet, not just his followers, not just the backsliders, but every single person. And it gives us a reason, I think, a reason for existence. For those of us who are faithful, by his grace, we can say, 'praise God. God cares about me.' For those of us who are backslidden, God is saying, 'I hear you. I care about you.

' And it gives us a reason to say, 'I'm coming back.' Amen. And the very fact that God speaks to pagans today should speak to those of us who are in this church, that we need to be willing to go after them, just like God is willing to do so. Amen. If they're out there and they're hearing the voice of God, I want to be where God's working, don't you? Amen. And that's a call for us, at this time.

There's a passage from steps to Christ page 100 that was in our lesson. It says, "his heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them." Have you ever shared your sorrows with somebody? Have you ever shared your sorrows with nobody because you didn't think anybody would care? I've done that. There's sometimes I'd get alone and - I remember when I was - my first teaching job - I was - I get so stressed sometimes. My personality needs to learn to have a little bit more confidence in God, amen? Anyone else can connect with me on that? But I was out walking along this country road at the school where I was teaching, saying, 'God, do you hear me?' And he does. I knew he did.

I could see the results because he heard the groanings. It says, "the heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Nothing in any way concerns our peace is too small for him to notice. No calamity can befall the least of his children of which our Heavenly Father is unobservant or in which he takes no immediate interest." Did something happen to you yesterday? This morning? That made you feel out of peace? Things happen like that, don't they? It says here that our Heavenly Father observed that and he took immediate interest. You know, sometimes we want a miracle.

Not always do the miracles come, but I want to tell you, the observation is there and the care is there. Amen. God has a deeper, fuller plan than I think that we, as humans, can realize sometimes, but it doesn't remove his love in any way, shape, or form. Exodus chapter 2 - let's go to Exodus chapter 2. The children of Israel are slaves in Egypt and God says this to Moses - Exodus chapter 2 and we'll look in verse 23.

Exodus chapter 2 and verse 23, "and it came to pass in process of time, that the King of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage." Verse 24 - "and God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." - And verse 25 says, "and God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them." I don't understand, sometimes when I read the Word of God, because it seems so beyond my human comprehension, that the God of heaven, the sovereign of the universe could have respect on a despised, backslidden group of slaves - and yet he did. Don't underestimate the God we serve. Amen. Not only does he feel that for you, but he feels that for every single person on this globe. Jesus shows sympathy.

Sympathy hears - sympathy hears. Oftentimes I think that we hear our own groanings, but we need to pray and ask God to give us the ability to hear the groanings of other people. Amen. Because we're not the only people that groan. We have a world that's groaning.

So trust that God hears yours and then, in that trust, hear somebody else's, amen? Amen. Sympathy hears. The next part I'd like to go to is - I'm going to continue with my story - it's February 18, 1952 - bernie and four men are in a 36-foot coast guard boat going out to tackle 40 to -foot waves. The hardest part was crossing the bar. To cross the bar - you know, that's where the sea is raised up - the bottom of the sea - it's very, very shallow.

To get crashed in there is very high - high likelihood - especially when you have such high seas. They knew they had to get across. They had to time it just right - you have to listen to the waves crashing - just the right time - gun it at the right time. In their process of going out, one time their ship was flipped upside-down - coast guard ships are actually - they cap - they right themselves, so it righted itself. They lost their compass - smashed out their front windshield - and they kept on going and somehow crossed - almost an impossible feat - they crossed the bar and got out into the open sea.

Sympathy not only hears, sympathy acts. Sympathy simply does not hear, it also acts - it takes action - it does something. You know, in our lesson - they quoted Matthew chapter 14, verse - a great passage - but I like to go to Mark 6 - look at the same concept but a little bit more context - Mark chapter , verse 31 - not only does sympathy hear, it acts - it takes action - and here we'll see this in Mark chapter 6 and starting with verse 31. "And he said unto them, 'come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." So Jesus and his disciples were living in a very busy time - doing good things, but their lives were very hectic - they didn't even have time to eat. The Bible continues in verse 32, "and they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

" So they got alone, took a ship to a fairly uninhabited section of the sea of Galilee - the shoreline there - just to rest and take some time - "and the people saw them departing," - verse 33 - "and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and out went them, and came together unto him." The Desire of Ages says that when they were coming into shore they could see the crowds of people waiting. And Jesus and his disciples were able to pull off to the side unobserved and had just a little bit of time together, but verse 34, "and Jesus, when he came out, saw much people and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things." I've been tired in the ministry before. There have been times when I've spoken or traveled or ministered so much that all I want is to be alone. I don't want to be around anybody. I want to just pull off to myself - some of you know what I'm talking about, right? You've been in that situation - you've just been around - just need a little bit of space.

I want to be alone just a little bit. And it's - that's the feeling that you see, almost, with the disciples. And Jesus knows and he pulls them aside - and that's when they're surrounded by the multitude - and that's when the feelings of compassion are seen in Jesus Christ. And that's the hardest time for me to have compassion and I'm - I want to make sure that we see that it's when Jesus was at his end, physically, that he was still showing compassion. Amen.

What an awesome God. Amen. He saw their needs - and there's two things that came out here in Mark chapter 6: he says he was moved with compassion for them because they were a sheep not having a shepherd. Actually, I wanted to move over to Matthew chapter 9 - Matthew 9 takes this and just adds one element to it - Matthew chapter 9 and verse 35 - verse 36 - I love how the Gospels are written - it's like four people with four different perspectives writing the same story. It's like my wife and I going to a wedding, right? Two of us will go to the same exact event and she will tell you about the dress and I will tell you about the food.

Very simple. And so you're seeing that same concept being played out here. Matthew chapter 9 adds something - Matthew, in verse 36 he says, "but when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them," - we read that - here's why: "because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." He was compassionate because of their physical needs - they were fainting - and their spiritual needs - because they were scattered as sheep without a shepherd. You know, I believe that we should see that today probably more than ever. There's a lot of shepherds - falsely so called - in our world today and we have a lot of sheep that are going astray.

the Spiritual condition of our world, in some ways, looks better than, from an outward perspective, than it's been before. But, in most cases, it's much worse than it's ever been before. We have sheep scattered without a shepherd. It says here that they fainted as well. Their people were tired.

That's actually the meaning of this passage here - they were tired. They've been up all day long - they were tired. We have tired people today. So here's the reasons: they had physical needs and spiritual needs - and then Jesus says this in verse 37, "then saith he unto his disciples, 'the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.'" What a prayer - because if you study this - a man by the name of derek morris put together a whole book called the radical prayer, based upon this. Fascinating.

This is a prayer that says, 'I want to serve' - if you really look at its context. When you pray this prayer - 'Lord, send laborers out to the harvest' - you're saying, 'Lord, send me.' That's the picture that's being given here. And Jesus is telling them 'I have compassion on them. I see their needs. Now it's time for us to pray that God'll get us out there.

' Sympathy hears and sympathy acts. Sympathy hears and sympathy acts. Luke chapter 7 - Luke chapter 7 and verse 11, "and it came to pass the day after," - this is a - the story of the widow of nain and her son - her dead son - at least for part of the story - Luke chapter 7, verse 11, "and it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people." So again, we see Jesus has a lot happening. He has many of his disciples - there's a lot of people surrounding Jesus as he goes to nain. He is busy.

He has a lot happening. Verse 12 - "now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, 'weep not.' And he came and touched the bier" - the coffin - that's not really a good Jewish practice. You know that, right? To go out and touch that which contains a dead body - but Jesus was not bound by rules of formality. Jesus' compassion - his sympathy - was not bound by that - "and they that bare him stood still.

And he said, 'young man, I say unto thee, arise.' And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother." Beautiful story. True compassion is never too busy. True sympathy - you know I'm using them synonymously and they are somewhat synonymous - they're not identical, but they're similar. True sympathy and compassion is not bound by rules of formality.

True sympathy and compassion acts - it does something. So, we have two main things we've looked at - broad pictures - sympathy hears and sympathy acts. In 2004 - actually 2000 - yeah, end of 2004 - December 26th, somebody may remember what happened on December 26, 2004? Major tsunami, right? Major tsunami in the east - sorry, the far east - sumatra, indonesia, thailand, india - in that area there was a massive earthquake - creates a huge tsunami - about a quarter of a million people lost their lives. How many of you felt sympathy? I remember thinking, 'man, what can I do?' And a friend of mine and I said, 'we're going to go to indonesia.' And so we started doing everything we could - started putting a team together to go to indonesia. Some of you may have tried doing the same thing - you may understand what I'm about to say.

I had everything planned. I was a teacher at that time and I just told the school 'we need to start acting. We've been teaching a lot about religion, let's act religion. Let's go. Let's take a team and get out there.

' And they said, 'okay.' Praise God I had that kind of support. And then I started calling around to find out who I could go with - we'll take care of ourselves getting there but who do we - how do we get there? And their response was very simple: 'you can't go. We're not allowing you.' 'Why? I want to help.' 'Sorry. The worst thing that's going to happen is you're going to go over there and you're going to get killed because you're a foreigner.' And I remember being so frustrated because sympathy - just thought is not enough. Sympathy must act.

You know, there's something I wrote here and I keep forgetting so I'm going to read it. Too often sympathy is a brief, intense emotion. That's not sympathy, though, really. Sympathy is something that hears and sympathy is something that acts. Bernie, once he got past the bar, realized - in his little -foot boat - that he was missing his compass, the winds were blowing 40 miles an hour, the waves, like I said, were 40 to 60-feet high, and he's trying to find the hull half of the tanker called the pendleton.

'Where is it? How can I get to it?' And as he's driving through the waves, he gets this sense - and I was reading this history last - yesterday - at the coast guard website - very interesting. He gets this sense that there's something in front of him. He turns on the spotlight and in front of them he sees the pendleton still upright, lifting up with 60-foot swells and crashing down in foam and going back up and down. But then he's thinking, 'is there anyone still here? Is there anyone on board?' And then he sees a light up at the rail - 33 men were still on board that ship. He didn't know there was 33 to start with.

He pulled up close, they threw a - I think it's called a Jacob ladder - and people started climbing down. His boat could hold 12 and there were already four of them on board. Well, once they had 12 then 14 and then 16 and then 18 and he thought almost everyone's ready and he sees a whole line of people still coming down. They fit 32 men - one of them actually died - the final person to get off actually died and got crushed - but 32 men plus their four - 36 on a boat that was supposed to hold 12 - amazing! They did it. Someone said, 'it's time for you to leave.

You can't take on all these men.' And bernie said, 'either we're all going to be saved or we're all going to be lost.' It's kind of a bold statement for a captain to make, but he made that call at that time. Bernie brought in 36 men, including himself, alive to the chatham station. Miraculous? He would say so. He said the hand of God was on the tiller. Amazing.

Sympathy not only hears and acts, but sympathy also counts the cost and is willing to pay it. You know, sympathy takes energy. Have you ever noticed that you've ever met a person that needs sympathy? Maybe it was yourself, I don't know, but I've met people who need sympathy and it just takes energy to give sympathy. It takes, sometimes, money to truly act on your sympathy. Sometimes it takes time, but sympathy involves a cost.

There are several passages that are listed out in our lesson and they are just excEllent. I like to notice them, if you don't mind, Colossians chapter 3, verse 12. We're going to be looking at Colossians 3:12 and then 1 Peter :8 - Colossians chapter 3 and verse 12 - and then 1 Peter 3:8. (Pages turning) Colossians 3:12 starts out with this: "put on therefore," - maybe some versions say, 'therefore put on' - I don't know, but - "put on as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies," - you know, I used to look at this and say, 'you know, that's kind of an interesting way of describing' - I'm using the King James version here - the innermost part of you, fill it with mercy. You don't mind if I do a little bit of new english paraphrase, okay? The innermost part of you, fill it with mercy, "kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

" Wow, put it on. I would assume that if you have to put something on, it wasn't there naturally. Amen. And I believe that's probably true with most of us. I can't speak for you but I'll speak for myself: I tend to be worried about myself more than I'm worried about other people.

I tend to be more sympathetic to my needs than the needs of other people. So, to care for others - from the very innermost of my body - has to be something that's put on - something that God can give. It's interesting, that phrase 'put on' is also used with the armor of Christ. Did you know that? Put it on. Peter chapter 3, verse 8 - 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 8 (pages turning) "finally, be ye all of one mind," - I would love to see this in a church today - be ye all of one mind - actually, we don't need a whole church to be all of one mind.

Could we just have a church board that's all of one mind? That'd be all that we need, right? Be ye all of one mind. What is that mind? Verse 8 continues: "having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." I believe compassion is a mindset. Now I've already said that compassion hears and compassion acts and it counts the cost, but I believe for compassion to count the cost and be willing to do it anyhow, it has to be a mindset. Compassion is not something that we do; it's something that we are. Amen.

And that only can happen when God puts it on. It can only happen when God puts it on. One more passage - 1 John chapter 3, verse 17 - 1 John :17 - and he uses the same word as Paul did there in Colossians - "but whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" That's a pretty strong statement. He's saying, 'it's one thing to say; it's another thing to do.' Amen. So we've got a - quite a few things coming - you know the word 'compassion' actually means - it comes from the latin word 'compati' - I probably tortured it, but it means this: 'to suffer with' - that's what compassion means - to suffer with.

Compassion is not a passing fleeting thought, it's a willingness to suffer. I knew we'd have to say who was the ultimate shower of compassion? Jesus Christ - he suffered with us, did he not? Amen. He had compassion on us. There's a lady that I had the privilege of meeting. I think I've shared her story before but I want to share a portion of it again.

She had some meeting in the country of thailand and when I spent some time with her I realized that she had something called compassion. Now, it doesn't look like that way always - from the outwards, sometimes, with a person, but I could see, definitely, as I spent time with her that is something that she has. She came as a missionary to thailand 34 years ago in her early 40s - she is now in her mid 70s - goes back to her home country a month every year to get rejuvenated but spends her life in thailand ministering. She, by and large, eats the way they do, lives the way they do - I've been to her house - almost identical to the people who she ministers with. She has compassion.

She has learned to suffer with - beautiful. Is there someone God's calling you to show compassion on? This morning is someone on your heart - or some group of people on your heart - or some place that God has asked you to have compassion on? Maybe God's already placed some place on your heart and right now you are showing compassion - you are suffering with - and I guarantee you that you are showing the love of God in a way that's incredible. That's what God's asking. To truly be with him is also to have his compassion. Did Jesus pay a cost for us? Yes.

Hebrews chapter 2, verses 16 through 17 tells us that he took on our nature. That was a little bit of a cost - at least if it was a nature like mine. That was definitely a little bit of cost, right? You could say amen. Amen. 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and verse 9 is that he was made poor so that I could be made rich.

Amen. So he took on poverty - not only did he take on my nature, he took on my poverty. Philippians chapter 2, verses 7 through 8 - starting in verse 5 it says he took upon - he had this mind in him, right? That he was willing to go to the death - even the death of the cross - suffer humiliation. He paid the cost. Not just our nature and poverty, but death and humiliation.

You know, Hebrews 4 also tells us that he was tempted in all ways like you and I are, yet without sin. He was tempted - what a cost. Why would he do that? Why would anyone pay that kind of price? He had compassion. Amen. He had sympathy and sympathy pays the cost.

Sympathy hears, sympathy acts, sympathy pays the cost. And our final point this morning: sympathy feels - or I could use the word 'weeps' - sympathy feels - sympathy weeps. A 17-year-old girl, going through the struggles that -year-old girls go through, I guess - I wouldn't know - but then, so much more. Ended up taking her life. Her parents were just in incredible sorrow as they sat there trying to grapple what had just taken place in their home.

And the pastor came by and he sat down next to them and just sat there and tried to grapple with what they were going through. After awhile he started crying uncontrollably and cried until he had no tears left. And then he got up and left. The husband and wife didn't need words right then, they simply needed sympathy - raw sympathy. They said later that it was the best thing that could have happened to them - someone could just sit there and cry with them.

Sympathy weeps - it feels the needs of those who we are ministering to. By the way, that same sympathy that we show is the sympathy that God shows for you and i. He weeps when you're crying. He cares about what you and I are experiencing. You know, william booth - general william booth, founder of the salvation army, made this statement which is - I'm not comfortable with this statement right now because it is attacking me harder than I've been attacked by a quotation in awhile.

It says this: "if you can't cry over the city, we can't use you." If you can't cry over the city, we can't use you. That's a pretty - anyhow, like I said, it's a little hard for me. Remember Jesus - Luke chapter 19 - Luke chapter 19 and verse 41 - let's - we can actually turn there - we've been quoting one so let's actually to this one - Luke chapter 19 and verse 41 - this is the triumphal entry as they're going - Jesus has a triumphal entry Sunday, going into the - Jerusalem - "and when he was come near, he beheld the city, and" - the Bible says he "wept over it." Verse 42 - "saying, 'if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the day shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee on every side and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.'" What's he saying? 'I came to you and you didn't realize it. You kicked me away.

You rejected me and you will be destroyed because of your actions. This is not from me, this is your choice. If only you knew what was happening.' The very people who kill him, he knows are going to kill him. He's now weeping over their future. I believe to weep over our sorrow is human.

To weep over our enemies' sorrow is divine. Amen. To weep for ourselves - we all do that - but to weep for the sorrow of our enemy? That takes God. That's a love that's beyond our humanity. By the way, he can give it to us.

Amen. I know it's not in me, by nature, and I would assume - I hope you don't mind me stepping on your toes - it's not in any of you, by nature, either. Amen. It's only from God, but that's the kind of love he can give us. John chapter 11 - not only did he weep there - there's a couple places where we see Jesus weeping.

This is another one - John chapter 11 and verse 35 - John :35 - I guess if you just read it we won't know the context, but I'm going to assume you all know the context: Lazarus has died - one of the close friends of Jesus - they are at the tomb with mary and Martha. Jesus sees the grave - he sees a lot - he knows a lot of things that are happening in the minds of the people that are even there mourning the death of Lazarus. There's a lot happening. It says that Jesus - in verse 33 - was groaned in the Spirit - he groaned in the Spirit and was troubled. And in verse 35 it says, "Jesus wept.

" Why? Why did he weep? Yes, I know there's a long profound answer that talks about he was weeping because he knew that people who were there were actually going to try to kill Lazarus again - not that they killed him the first time, but they would try to kill him after his resurrection. There were going to be ones in that crowd who were going to kill him. He wasn't weeping for Lazarus because he knew Lazarus was going to be raised up from the dead. But he was also weeping for another reason: he was weeping in sympathy with mary and Martha. You know, Romans chapter 12 and verse 15 tells us something - Romans chapter 12 and verse 15, "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

" Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that do weep. I added an extra 'do'. It's okay to cry with someone just because they need to be cried with. It's okay to laugh with someone because they need someone to laugh with them. Jesus did it.

It's a call I think he's asked us to do. It's a part of ministry. Sympathy hears. Sympathy acts. Sympathy pays the price.

And sympathy weeps. "The weight of grief of ages was upon him" - Desire of Ages page - "he saw the terrible effects of the transgression of God's law. He saw then the history of the world beginning with the death of abel, the conflict between good and evil had been unceasing. Looking down the years to come he saw the suffering and sorrow, tears and death, that were to be the lot of men. His heart was pierced with the pain of the human family of all ages and in all lands.

The woes of this sinful race were heavy upon his soul and the fountain of his tears was broken up as he longed to relieve all their distress." Think about it: the sorrow of all people in all lands. So I have a sympathy here that Jesus has and this sympathy hears the cries of all people - the groanings of all people. This sympathy acts upon it and does whatever is necessary. This sympathy doesn't worry about the cost but pays it freely. And this sympathy feels.

That's incredible sympathy and that's the sympathy of Jesus Christ. So when we go back and we look at this concept of how Jesus showed sympathy, it's not that he just had some kind of intense feeling of 'that's terrible. I'm sorry you're going through that.' It was so much more. What an awesome God we serve. Amen.

So he came here. He heard our cry. And 2,000 years ago he took upon our nature - he took upon our flesh and he came here and he acted. Then he paid the ultimate price - the price of his own life. And I would like to tell you that today he still feels.

Amen. He still hears. We have a Savior who is awesome. Amen. I would like to leave you with Mark chapter - Matthew chapter 9 and verse 36 - Matthew 9, verse 36 (pages turning) "but when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

" Today, remember the sympathy of our God - he has compassion on you and on the world that is around you. Can we pray as we close? Our father, we've been moved as we learn about the incredible sympathy of Jesus towards us. Father, we just want to praise you this morning for it. Help us to have joy in that love - to rest in that compassion and sympathy and then, father, to share it with other people. We pray for this in the mighty name of Jesus, amen.

We have a free offer - just want to remind you, if you haven't had a chance to call on it, it's offer #801 and the number to call would be 1-866-788-3966 that is 866-788-3966. Thank you so much. God bless you. Hello friends, we all know a marathon is one of the longest and hardest races a person could run. But did you hear about the ultra marathon they used to have in australia? It was 544 miles from melbourne to sydney.

It attracted as many as 150 world-class athletes. But then something happened that no one would ever forget. In 1983 a 61-year-old potato farmer named cliff young decided to enter the race. Now people were very amused because he had on rubber galoshes over his boots and when the race began and all the runners took off, sure enough old cliff was left behind shuffling along very slowly - but he was shuffling very persistently. Normally, during this 7-day race, the runners would go about hours running and then they'd sleep for 6 hours, but nobody ever told cliff that.

When the other runners stopped to rest during the night, cliff just kept on running. Some people were afraid old cliff was going to have a heart attack and they were asking the race organizers to show mercy and stop the crazy old man. But he would have none of it. Each day he was gaining on the pack because when they were sleeping he was plodding along. During the last night of the race cliff passed all of these world-class athletes.

Not only was cliff able to run that 544-mile race without dying, he won - beating all the other racers by 9 hours, breaking the record and becoming a national hero in the process. What's really amazing is that when they told him he had won the $10,000.00 prize, he looked confused and said he didn't know there was a prize and he decided to share it with the other runners. When asked how he was able to run all night long, cliff responded that he grew up on a farm where they had about 2,000 head of cattle and, because they couldn't afford horses, he used to have to round them up on foot, sometimes running two and three days non-stop. So, throughout the race, he just imagined that he was chasing after the cows and trying to outrun a storm. Old cliff's secret was to keep on running while others were sleeping.

You know, the Bible tells us that the race is not necessarily to the swift. Something like aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare - the tortoise just kept on plodding along. That's why Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:13, 'he that endures unto the end, the same will be saved.' Now you might slip and fall during the race. You might even get off to a bad start. But in the Christian race that we run, the main thing is you want to finish well.

Keep on running, friends, and don't give up. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming, visit the Amazing Facts media library at 'aftv.org'. At 'aftv.org' you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit 'aftv.org'. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo.

From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, 'Biblehistory.com' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible time line at 'Biblehistory.com'. For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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