The Compassion of Jesus (Luke 4:38-44)

The Compassion of Jesus (Luke 4:38-44)


Jesus began his ministry being accepted and praised by many who heard him teach, but also rejected and run off by people in his hometown of Nazareth. Having returned to Capernaum, he has just finished casting out a demon from a man in the synagogue.

Read Luke 4:38-44

Why did Jesus heal anyone? Why didn’t he heal everyone? His healing ministry supported his purpose, namely to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God. We must keep this in mind at all times.

How does this passage reveal the good news of the kingdom of God?

Jesus’ Compassion is Personal (38-39)

While Jesus and the disciples are at the synagogue, Simon’s mother-in-law is at home tossing and turning, suffering from a high fever. He not only heals Simon’s mother-in-law, but he restores her energy so that she was eager to serve them.

Peter’s marriage creates a genuine problem for the Roman Catholic Church to deal with. If the first “pope” was married, why must all subsequent popes be celibate?

But the text’s real value is seeing our Savior’s compassion.

Calvin Christ gave to his disciples a private and familiar illustration of his grace.

Not only do we see his general compassion upon the crowds of people, but before Luke goes there he highlights this particular healing to show the very personal nature of Christ’s compassion.

Christ’s healing touch always produces such tremendous gratitude, the inevitable result is one of service.

Not only personal, but…

Jesus’ Compassion is Physical (40-41)

Jesus’ authority and power extends beyond the spiritual realms into the physical realms. He heals fevers just as easily as exorcising demons.

Once again, the demons are attempting to cast doubt upon Jesus by associating themselves with him. Jesus clearly separates himself from them by silencing them and casting them out.

Jesus alone can bring true healing. And we mustn’t limit our imagination here to the physical realm. His ministry was a proclamation of victory over all evils!

The healing ministry of Jesus reveals the compassion of a loving God who delights to make us whole.

It’s a comfort to know we have a Savior who uses his authority and power to bring healing? There is no mention here about the quality of their faith or the amount of money they placed in the offering. They physically experienced the grace of Christ.

But his compassion doesn’t end there.

Jesus’ Compassion is Verbal (42-44)

After such a miraculous night of healing no one wanted to see Jesus go. Jesus left to an isolated place to recover and prepare to preach elsewhere.

“Kingdom of God” (1x) = Preaching good news about the reign of Jesus Christ was why he was sent.

Cultural transformation requires preaching.

Ryle An expression like this ought to silence forever the foolish remarks that are sometimes made against preaching…Let us beware of despising preaching. In every age of the Church, it has been God’s principle instrument for the awakening of sinners and the edifying of saints.

The compassion of a loving God who delights to make us whole involves gospel proclamation.

We need to recognize it’s superior value in terms of compassion. We may need to isolate ourselves from time to time in order to reflect upon this good news.

Jesus’ Compassion is Personal, Physical, and Verbal.


Acts 10:34-42 Witnesses of Jesus’ compassion were chosen to preach of his future judgment.

Hughes You cannot enjoy a kingdom unless you are submitted to the king.

Christ brought the Kingdom of God wherever he went. The joy and healing that the inhabitants of Capernaum experienced were a taste of the New Heavens and New Earth that all believers will enjoy for eternity. Every disease and infirmity will be healed. All evil will be destroyed.

That is why we pray, “Your kingdom come…” And whenever Jesus answers that prayer with redemption and healing, our response is faith and service.