To Suffer with Another

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Christ felt compassion for His people because He had experienced their pain. May you have Christlike compassion for your spouse, especially in response to his or her pain.

I have compassion for these people. Matthew 15:32, NIV

Compassion means caring when another is hurting, and taking action. It means having a heart response to another person's pain, and it means being sensitive to what it must be like to be in his or her situation.

The Gospel of Matthew contains an account of Christ expressing His compassion for the multi­tudes. The Savior climbed one of the hills that sur­round the sea. A great multitude came to Him, and He performed great miracles of physical healing that day.

The Lord also began to sense another physical need of the people: hunger. Jesus called His disciples and explained, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way" (Matthew 15:32, Niv).

It's important to consider some questions as we read this story. First, how did Jesus know the people were hungry? Undoubtedly, He knew the people were hungry simply because He is God. But the Savior also knew the people were hungry because He was human.

Now, what could have prompted Christ's compassion? Yes, He is God, and God is compassionate. But Jesus had actually experienced physical hunger Himself. In fact, He knew what it was like to feel desperate hunger. Remember that several years before this event, Jesus had spent forty days in the wilderness without food. Christ felt compassion for the multitudes because He knew the pain of hunger Himself.

Christ's compassion wasn't based on the people's performance. His compassion wasn't contingent upon how well they had treated Him or how much they had given Him. He felt compassion for the people because He saw their pain, a pain He had felt Himself.

In what areas have you suffered that have given you the ability to extend compassion to your spouse?

Lord, remind me often of Your compassion toward me. Help me to share that same compassion with my spouse.

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