I ran across this tonight from Henry Nouwen and it made me want to have a heart like Jesus all the more. It also made me realize how easy it is to fall short. How much I’ve missed when I’ve read my bible and thought about him with compassion. The last sentence really touched me. How GREAT the Father’s love for us? WOW….
There is a beautiful expression in the Gospels that appears only twelve times and is used exclusively in reference to Jesus or his Father. That expression is “to be moved with compassion.” The Greek verb splangchnizomai reveals to us the deep and powerful meaning of this expression. The splangchna are the entrails of the body, or as we might say today, the guts. They are the place where our most intimate and intense emotions are located. They are the centre from which both passionate love and passionate hate grow. When the Gospels speak about Jesus’ compassion as his being moved in the entrails, they are expressing something very deep and mysterious. The compassion that Jesus felt was obviously quite different from superficial or passing feelings of sorrow or sympathy. Rather, it extended to the most vulnerable part of his being. It is related to the Hebrew word for compassion, rachamim, which refers to the womb of Yahweh. Indeed, compassion is such a deep, central, and powerful emotion in Jesus that it can only be described as a movement of the womb of God. There, all the divine tenderness and gentleness lies hidden. There, God is father and mother, brother and sister, son and daughter. There, all feelings, emotions, and passions are one in divine love. When Jesus was moved to compassion, the source of all life trembled, the ground of all love burst open, and the abyss of God’s immense, inexhaustible, and unfathomable tenderness revealed itself.