Excerpted from Christ the Healer by F. F. Bosworth, © 1973 by R.V. Bosworth, Fleming H. Revell, pages 52-63.
“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:8-9).
In the study of the Lord’s campassion, we have, to my mind, a complete revelation of the Lord’s willingness to heal. During His earthly ministry, He was everywhere moved with compassion, and healed all “them that had need of healing;” and it is “this same Jesus” who, after saying, “It is expedient for you that I go away,” is now seated at the right hand of God, “that He might be a merciful (compassionate) and faithful High Priest” for us.
In the Scriptures, “compassion” and “mercy” mean the same. The Hebrew noun, rachamin, is translated both “mercy” and “compassion.” The Greek verb, eleeo, is translated “have mercy” and “have compassion;” likewise, the Greek adjective eleemon is defined “merciful – compassionate.”
To have compassion is to love tenderly, to pity, to show mercy, to be full of eager yearning.
The text above begins with “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” These sentiments concerning the nature of God are expressed over and over throughout the Scriptures. God is not anything so much as He is Love. The most conspicuous statements in the Scriptures about our Heavenly Father are the declarations concerning His love, His mercy, His compassion.
There is no note that can be sounded concerning God’s character that will so inspire faith as this one. In our revivals, I have seen faith rise “mountain high” when the truth of God’s present love and compassion began to dawn upon the minds and hearts of the people. It is not what God can do, but what we know He yearns to do, that inspires faith.
By showing His compassion everywhere in the healing of the sick, Jesus unveiled the compassionate heart of God to the people, and the multitudes came to Him for help. Oh, how insidiously has Satan worked to hide this glorious fact from the people. He has broadcasted the unscriptural, illogical, and worn-out statement that the age of miracles is past until he has almosat succeeded in eclipsing the compassion of God from the eyes of the world.
Modern theology magnifies the power of God more than it magnifies His compassion. … But the Bible reverses this, and magnifies His willingness to use His power more than it does the power itself. In no place does the Bible say that “God is power,” but it does say that “God is love.” It is not faith in God’s power that secures His blessings, but faith in His love ….