“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It’s the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” That was written by a man named Frederick Buechner.
The Hebrew and Greek words translated “compassion” in the Bible come from a Hebrew word that means the “womb of God” and the Greek word is something like the bowels or the “insides”. To me these are fascinatimg ideas. When God has compassion He gives birth to a new person and Jesus does the same. When Jesus has compassion He feels for the person from his insides. He aches for them. The words have come to mean “to have mercy, to feel sympathy and to have pity.” We know that, according to the Bible, God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15). Like all of God’s attributes, His compassion is infinite and eternal. His compassions never fail; they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, exemplified all of the Father’s attributes, including His compassion.
First John 3:17 asks, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Originally made in His image, man is to exemplify God’s traits, including compassion. From this it follows that “If anyone says, ‘I love God’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). The Bible is clear that compassion is an attribute of God and of God’s people as well.