My friend Vernon Burger put up an excellent article called “Compassion isn’t Enough.” Vernon has founded a few orphanages in Africa and also works for other issues. I have never met anyone with a heart for the poor and the destitute like Vernon and I’m almost ashamed to say I am his friend, for I have done nothing compared to him.
Please go to his site and read his post. Here is the first part:
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mt. 9:35-38)
True compassion will always lead to Godly action. Compassion is not only being “broken” over suffering, but it leads to action. Informed action. Holistic action.
One of the things that stuns me from helping to start orphanages and being involved in many social justice causes, has been the focus of so many organizations on the meeting of physical needs alone as the ultimate end of what they do. This was never enough for Jesus (see James 2). He had a higher and more holistic value of life.
As I was reading through Mt. 9 I noticed His compassion was driven by their helplessness. Yet, their helplessness was not even the main focus. Knowing that He had the answer (therefore the Triune sufficiency was the focus) was what allowed Him to even see their helplessness. He knew He had an answer!