“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion
for them and healed their sick.” (Matt. 14:14 NASB)
Compassion! Really! I’m not even sure I know how to define compassion or how compassion might be different from love, even though these are two distinct words in the New Testament. Both words sound like emotions to me. I have been taught that emotions are part of my soul and that I am to cut them off (which I quite successfully did in my early Christian life). I even passed out tracts saying emotions were soulish, un-reliable, not necessary and to be avoided. Hmmm. Perhaps that was un-wise.
There are many reasons I might pray for the sick. As a workaholic, I might do it to get the job done; or I might pray out of the guilt of performance orientation, feeling that if I don’t meet people’s needs I have failed God. I might pray because there is a biblical law telling me I am supposed to pray for the sick and my goal is obedience to God’s laws. Well…
Jesus healed because He felt compassion!
Eleven years into my Christian life, God drew me into two-way journaling. One of the early visions He gave me was of Jesus holding my head against His chest and tenderly caressing my hair (WOW!). He said, “Mark, I want you to know that tenderness is OK. I want to restore emotions to your life and I want you to do three things to restore the emotions you have cut off. I want you to read through the Gospels and see that Jesus, moved by compassion, healed, and that it is OK to have emotions and to let them lead in your life and ministry.
“Next, I want you to read the Psalms and notice that David had emotions and expressed them ALL to Me, and that was good and fine. I can handle all your emotions as you present them to Me. Finally, I want you to notice how tenderly I love you in your two-way journaling, and then I want you to love yourself and others with that same tenderness.” So I did those three things, and God did restore emotions to my life.
Since I am a theologian, He also lovingly revealed to me from Scripture the truth that we have emotions in our spirits (Ezek. 3:14), so it was wrong of me to relegate emotions to the soul, and then try to ignore compassion as a foundational piece in Jesus’ healing ministry. During the period of my life that I didn’t express compassion, no miracles flowed through my hands. (There might be a clue in there!)
My daughter, Charity Kayembe, shared a great picture in the natural that could be analogous to what’s happening in the spirit. She suggested the possibility that “compassion is a carrier wave of God’s healing power.” In telecommunications, a carrier wave is what the message (word, image, music, signal) is carried on. The message is encoded in the carrier wave by modifying the carrier wave’s frequency, amplitude or phase.
Perhaps, compassion is the divine frequency through which God’s grace is carried and released.
The “Carrier Wave Principle” as revealed in a dream
Setting of the Dream: Charity went to bed having just meditated on the need for compassion to be present in order to release spiritual power and energy, and she had the following dream.
I was at the office and my co-worker, Karen, gave me a homeopathic remedy from a lady I’m ministering to.
Interpretation of the Symbols in the Dream:
- The office = where I work (so to make healing work…)
- Passed through Karen’s hands = Karen sounds a lot like “caring” and she actually is one of the most caring, compassionate people I know (healing works when moving through the hands of care and compassion)
- Homeopathic remedy = a healing frequency (i.e. God’s healing power/energy)
- Being given from the person I was ministering to = miracles begin with a need (The person I was ministering to has a need and when that was united with care/compassion, then healing occurred.)
Message of the Dream: So compassion was present in Caring Karen, and it was through her that the energized frequency for healing was transferred and flowed. It was through Karen’s hands that the frequency passed. It was in her presence that the gift was given and received. “Caring” was the conduit and connector and conductor of the healing frequency.
This dream is saying that the divine frequency of compassion
must be present for God’s healing power to work.
Compassion is the “spiritual carrier wave” that carries God’s
wisdom, healing, power and gifts to us and through us to others.
Compassion is an emotion. So where do emotions come from? Are they a head thing or a heart thing? Emotions flow from our hearts. In Genesis 6:6 we see an emotion listed as a function of the heart: The LORD was … grieved in His heart (NASB). Another indication that emotions are in the heart is that when my heart speaks at night through dreams, I find that emotions accompany and are a large part of these dreams.
We are also told that the River of the Holy Spirit flows from our hearts: “Out of our innermost being flows… this He spoke concerning the Spirit” (Jn. 7:37-39). It would stand to reason that the release or discharge of the flow of His Spirit is enlarged when released in conjunction with compassion, an emotion which also flows from our hearts.
We also have eyes in our hearts (Eph. 1:17,18), which can see in the spirit realm. When we dream at night, our heart is communicating to us using pictures. In Acts 2:17 the outpouring of God’s Spirit involved dreams and visions. So heart includes seeing.
Two additional things which arise from our hearts are faith (Mk. 11:22-24) and flow (Jn. 7:37-39).
I would like to suggest that the bottom line is that “heart flow is strengthened when it is carried on the wings of pictures, emotions, faith and flow, as these are all heart realities.” To say it another way:
God’s healing power rides on the wings
of divine visions, faith, compassion and flow.
Therefore, when ministering healing, I want to be looking with the eyes of my heart into the spiritual world and seeing God’s Kingdom. As I do, His emotions, His faith and His Spirit’s power will flow and will be present.
Practically speaking, we look to see how Jesus is ministering grace to the person before us (Dan. 8:2,3; Heb. 12:1,2; 2 Cor. 3:18;4:18). We then do and speak that which we see Jesus doing and speaking.
We can begin this process by doing what King David did. He pictured the Lord before him, at his right hand (Ps. 16:8). Then we pray for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened (Eph. 1:17,18), flow takes over these pictures, and we find ourselves stepping into a divine vision. We see the Kingdom, and we declare with authority, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). We command to earth what we have seen in the heavenlies, and the kingdom of God is manifested as the sick are healed and demons cast out (Lk. 10:9; 11:20).
The reality is that I need to be retrained to honor and live in these realities, as I was in times past taught to shun emotions and visions and flow, and even faith for miracles was downplayed during my early Christian years. I was taught to accept as reality what I saw with my natural eyes, rather than the reality I saw with the eyes of faith. I was trained to live in analytical reason rather than in flow. Looks like satan has been working overtime to ensure I have plenty of roadblocks in place to keep me from releasing God’s miracle working power! It is time for me to tear down these roadblocks and throw them into the garbage and embrace the spiritual realities of the Kingdom instead.
Another verse that would suggest the idea of spiritual carrier waves is Galatians 5:6, “faith working through love.” The exact Greek meaning of “working through” is “energized by.” Faith, which is a key ingredient in miracles and healing, must be energized by love for it to work. This makes it clear that I cannot be in a critical mood when I am ministering divine healing. I must be loving, kind, compassionate and non-judging to the one I am ministering to as well as toward myself. I must be in sync with God’s command to “Honor all people…” (1 Pet. 2:17). Lord, deliver me from judgment I pray - judgment toward myself and judgment toward others. Thank You, Lord.
Spurgeon said, “The word compassion is a very remarkable one. It is not found in classic Greek. It is not found in the Septuagint. The fact is, it was a word coined by the evangelists [Gospel writers] themselves. They did not find one in the whole Greek language that suited their purpose, and therefore they had to make one. It is expressive of the deepest emotion; a striving of the bowels—a yearning of the innermost nature.”
As I researched this claim, I found that the verb form of this word shows up in the Gospels, and only the noun form was present in the Greek culture before this. So in this sense, Spurgeon was right, a new word was created. Jesus was moved so deeply that there wasn’t even a word in their entire language to describe it! There was a need to create a brand new word, specifically to attempt to capture an emotion that He was living out of. Amazing!
Greek definitions for the word Splankna, translated “felt compassion”
- σπλαγχνιζομαι – splagchnizomai - splangkh-nid'-zom-ahee (Strong’s # - G4697)
- Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary: “To have the bowels yearn, be moved with compassion”
- Thayer Greek Definitions: “to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion; Part of Speech: verb”
- The Apostle Paul uses the noun form of this word to signify an expression of one’s total personality at the deepest level.
A working definition for the Greek word translated “compassion”
Splankna is the yearning compassion of God flowing from our innermost beings
carrying with it a release of God’s grace, power and mercy to the person in need.
This compassion would be considered a wave of God’s divine love moving us into action.
For Jesus, this compassion moved Him to heal, deliver, teach, provide food to the hungry and in the case of the Good Samaritan, provide money and care.
Innermost being can be viewed as “gut.” For example, we say “gut instinct.” It is a place below our hearts, in our navel area. The navel is where the umbilical cord connects us to our mothers and we receive sustenance; spiritually speaking our navel is also where we are connected to God’s Spirit and receive the in-working power of the Holy Spirit. We can sense His energy arise from that spot within.
There are ONLY 12 occurrences of the word Splankna/Compassion in the Bible
They are all found in Matthew, Mark and Luke – John either does not specifically address these stories, or if he does, he does not address the heart motivation. (It is not that John used a different word than “compassion.”)
Let’s explore in depth how God’s "compassion" relates to miracles and healing. Prayerfully meditate and journal through the 12 verses below, recording what God reveals to you concerning compassion. The underlined words in the verses are the translation of Strong’s word numbered G4697 which is the Greek word for “compassion.”
You will note in each of the verses the following pattern: They saw a need and felt deeply to meet it, and so acted in an appropriate way to meet the need. In several of these stories, it is also stated that there was a release of God’s mercy into the person’s life (i.e. Lk. 10:37 is one example of this).
- Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. (Matt. 9:36 NASB)
- When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. (Matt. 14:14 NASB)
- And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way." (Matt. 15:32 NASB)
- And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. (Matt. 18:27 NASB)
- Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. (Matt. 20:34 NASB)
- Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." (Mk. 1:41 NASB)
- When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. (Mk. 6:34 NASB)
- "I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.” (Mk. 8:2 NASB)
- And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. (Mk. 9:22 NKJV)
- When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." (LK. 7:13 NASB)
- But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion. (LK. 10:33 NASB)
- So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (LK. 15:20 NASB)
Journaling Application Questions
- Lord, what do You want to show me from these verses?
- Please reveal to me the role of compassion in releasing Your mercy and healing power.
- What would You have me do to grow in the gift of compassion?
For more on the power of compassion check out Waves of Compassion in an Ocean of Love.
Charity and Leo Kayembe: CharlaArts
Heart with ECG image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Connecting Hearts image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Heartshaped Hands image courtesy of jvdberg / FreeImages.com
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