When you begin to explore the gospels and look at the ministry of Jesus, you can’t find one instance when He turned anyone away that came to Him. Jesus never lost touch with people. In fact when Jesus came to Earth, He became a friend to the sinner. That isn’t to say He condoned their behaviors because He certainly didn’t, but Jesus understood that He was sent to be their salvation, and He understood what they needed. And they needed the love of Jesus!

First John 4:17 says:

Herein is our love made perfect, that we many have boldness in the day of judgement: because as He is, so are we in the world.

The Bible says eleven separate times in the New Testament that Jesus was compassionate. Here are some examples from the gospels of Jesus’ compassion: 

  • Jesus felt compassion for the masses (see Matthew 15:32).
  • Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the people had no Shephard (see Matthew 9:36). 
  • Jesus moved with great compassion when He saw the sick (see Matthew 14:14). 

These are just a few of many examples of Jesus’ heart for the people He came to Earth to reach. In the same way, we as Christians should regard others just as Jesus did and be moved with the same compassion when we encounter other people in our daily lives. Many people who we cross paths with every day are hurting and in need of an answer only Jesus can give them. 

Jesus became a source of value for those the world deemed worthless. The religious leaders of the day were extremely hard-hearted toward the people they were supposed to be ministering to. In no uncertain terms [note: it’s “uncertain terms,” not “uncertain turns”], Jesus strongly rebuked who thought of and treated people in this way. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

— Matthew 23:23

The Bible also says this in Luke 11:42: 

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought yet to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

In other words, Jesus said that what was most important, the Pharisees had neglected or forgotten completely. They were so concerned about their rituals and customs that they neglected mercy and justice. They forgot about people!

It’s important to keep in mind that this was the kind of religious climate Jesus entered into when He began His ministry. And through His ministry, Jesus revealed the true nature of God. He loved and gave value to those who were rejected by society. He wasn’t ashamed of them, even those who were considered to be the outcasts of society. 

For example, lepers were so despised and so rejected by society — they were “untouchables.” During this time, you would be considered “unclean” for merely touching a person afflicted with leprosy. Yet Jesus wasn’t the slightest bit concerned with the customs of the day or how society typically acted — He loved them. And we should 

You may be thinking, We don’t have many lepers today! Sure we do — drug addicts, alcoholics, homeless people, people who struggle with mental health disorders or sexually transmitted diseases — these are people that today’s society tends to treat like the lepers of the New Testament. 

Ask yourself, How would Jesus treat these people? He would value them and have compassion for them, and so should you. 

Several years ago my son Paul wanted to hire an employee for our church in Moscow, Russia. The person he wanted to hire was someone who had basically grown up on the same street as us, and he had a hard, hard life. But Paul believed in this man. In fact, he was one of the few on our team who believed in him. 

I told Paul, “If you truly believe in this man, then you take him and make him into something.” So we bought him a nice, new suit and made sure he looked nice and professional. Let me tell you, when that man walked in wearing that suit for the first time, he looked like a different man — his shoulders were thrown back and he exuded a confidence he never had before. Why? Because someone believe in him!

I have learned a very important lesson over my lifetime: when you value people, they live up to the value you give them. Just think about the times when someone gave you value, and it made you stand up just a little taller. That’s what Jesus does — He gives us value and dignity.

Friend, I want you to evaluate how you view and treat other people. Do you give value to the people in your life by how you treat them? Or does your opinion of people diminish the value God sees in us — the value that caused Him to move with such compassion that sending His only Son to die for our salvatoin was the only way to satisfy His love for us? From here on out, let’s endeavor to be like Jesus and lift other people up instead of dragging them down because as the Bible says, as He is, so are we in this life (see 1 John 4:17).