Cross in hands

Christ is Compassionate

By F.F. Bosworth

“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful [compassionate] and faithful high priest” (Hebrews 2:17).

We have already seen that both the words merciful and compassionate are given as the meaning of the Greek adjective eleemon, which is translated “merciful” in this passage.

This verse has no reference to Christ’s compassion as manifested during His earthly ministry; it refers only to His ministry from heaven, and to the fact that the purpose of His incarnation was so that He might show compassion as our High Priest after His return to heaven.

“All that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up” (Acts 1:1-2)

is what, because of His unchanging compassion, He promised would continue and be greater after He went away. The Spirit further glorifies Christ by saying that He is even now:

  • “touched [sumpatheo, Greek—translated “had compassion” in Heb. 10:34]
  • “with the feeling of our infirmities” (Heb 4:15)
  • “that He still “can have compassion” (Heb. 5:2)
  • and that He is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8).

Let us worship Him, because His compassion is the same today, and because, as He looks upon all our infirmities, He is still moved with compassion, and yearns to help us. © 2009 Whitaker House. Excerpt from Christ the Healer by F.F. Bosworth (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2000), 90. Used by permission. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written consent of the publisher.