Matthew 14: 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion towards them and He healed their sick.
It looks as if Jesus was touched in the heart before He healed. But it we examine the scriptures very carefully, it is more than just being touched. There was something moving and stirring like a life force within Him. It was as if there was an explosion of God’s love flowing in Him and causing the healing to come forth.
The Compassion that Feeds
Matthew 15: 32f Then Jesus called His disciples and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have been with Me for three days, and have nothing to eat, and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint on the way. (cf also Mark 8: 2ff)
Earlier it was a healing miracle. Now it is a feeding miracle. Before every feeding miracle, there was a compassion that Jesus had for His people. You could copy everything Jesus did, say everything Jesus said and try all the right things but if you do not have compassion, there is a huge power gap and vacuum. The compassion that Jesus had drew on the miracle working power of God. The people ate from the compassion of Jesus.
The multiplication of the bread and fishes was a creative miracle. The key to creative miracles and the key to all miracles is the compassion that needs to flow in our lives for that miracle to work.
The Compassion that Heals
Mark 1: 40-42 And there came up a leper up to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, “If You will, You can make me clean. And Jesus moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and said to him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
Matthew 15: 30-32 And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, dumb, maimed and many others, and put them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them. Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be well, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me three days now..
When Jesus saw the sick, there was a stirring within His spirit. Compassion rose up in His heart, and it is in His compassion that the people could get their miracle. But the miracle came from His spirit first.
We see creative miracles of the leper and maimed being made whole – these are creative miracles. I believe that before the outpouring in this planet earth, a great revival that God is going to bring forth, we will see a stirring of compassion. Compassion must flow in our hearts before we can see creative miracles.
The Compassion that Labors
Matthew 9: 36-38 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were faint, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.
When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. And He talked to them about laborers that need to go out. That implies that the laborers that go forth must have the same compassion that Jesus had.
Qualities of Compassion
Compassion as a Life Force
The word compassion comes from the Greek word splankna. Splankna has a long Greek history. Originally that word splankna came to be used to refer to the inward parts of an animal sacrifice, the entrails, kidneys, liver, lung, which are the best parts. Later it came to mean the total sacrifice of the animal inside and outside. It was the inward part of the inward being. Later it was translated to creative form, a life-giving womb.
The word compassion is a mysterious word. It is not mercy (eleeo) or sympathy (simpatheo, or suffering with) or pity (pathos). It is much deeper than mercy or sympathy or pity.
Compassion as Flow of Affection
Phil 1: 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the tender mercies (bowels or splankna) of Jesus Christ.
Compassion is just not an attitude. It is not deep feelings or affections. Compassion is a commodity. It is a life force, tangible force, not a state of being but it is a substance of being. Compassion is the spark to dynamite, to the power of God that is going to be released. It is the power inherent in the womb of Jesus that can release the power and creative force of God.
Philemon 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts (bowels – splankna) of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.
We can refresh and impart a fresh anointing to a fellow Christian by a show of affection. Splankna like a commodity can be freshened up or be made stale with Christian fellowship or bad companionship respectively.
Sometimes when you are conversing with fellow Christians about works of mercy and outreaches, there may be some who may be critical or cynical and end up running down the workers or people coming for help. Be careful. Such people may seriously damage your splankna so that slowly you don’t feel compassion anymore for people in need. On the other hand, coming in contact with Christians who do street rescue work or reading the lives of great men and women of God who do much charity work may stir up your splankna to want to do the same. Your splankna can be refreshed or can be hardened. A hardened splankna is useless to the Lord, and the Lord cannot anymore release the creative miracle-working power out of your splankna.
Philemon 12 Whom I have sent again, you, therefore, receive him, that is, my own heart (bowels – splankna)
Individual persons can be the object of our splankna or compassion. We can be so filled with splankna for a person that that person becomes as if a son or daughter. Onesimus was Paul’s splankna, his own implantation, the embodiment of Paul himself. What was Paul saying? Onesimus was a slave who ran away from his master. Rather than sending him back straightaway to his master, Paul kept him and trained him and taught him the ways of God. Not only that, but Paul poured his whole heart and soul into molding him, praying for him, interceding for him. His splankna was literally exercised in much tears and compassion and intercession for Onesimus until Onesimus became a useful Christian for his master. Thus Paul wrote to Philemon to accept Onesimus back, who has been transformed by Paul’s splankna. You may be training up Christians at home or in school or in a Bible College, but your work is not completely done until you exercise your splankna in interceding for them and covering them with much secret tears of prayers and intercession.
Philemon 20 Yes, brother, let me have your joy in the Lord; refresh my heart (bowels – splankna) in the Lord.
The word heart means the essence of the matter, and comes from the word cardia. The word splankna also have that meaning but it has a deeper strength and power. Cardia says I would like that. Splankna says, “I want it.” They may have the same thoughts, but they carry different strengths. The phrase, “He is bold” speaks of cardia. “He has guts,” speaks of splankna. Splankna includes aspects of the heart but the heart doesn’t exclude some aspects of splankna. Splankna is something powerful; it is raw power.
Compassion as Feelings of the Spirit
The body has feelings. The mind has consciousness. The spirit has splankna. There are three realms of consciousness – body, soul and spirit consciousness. Splankna is the consciousness of the spirit man.
A normal body has feelings; otherwise it is paralyzed. The mind can think, analyze, reason, visualize otherwise it is retarded. When you are born again, your spirit has consciousness of splankna, it has consciousness of things in the spirit world. It can be there 24 hours if you develop it in God.
Sometimes we move into the body realm to do physical things; sometimes we go into the soul realm to do mental things. Sometimes we go into the spiritual realm to do spiritual things. The conscious state of the spirit is the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes when you pray, you enter into the splankna but not all the time. Sometimes when you come to church, you feel the feeling of emotions, you know something deeper is rising in you. You may be the type who don’t cry but when you worship the Lord, something stirs up inside you and you begin to weep. As you weep and cry you feel His love, and you also feel His love for other people. It is more than empathy or sympathy but you feel it. Then when you go back to your daily duties, you feel less of it. But when you go back to your prayer closet you reach that stage again, that state of splankna. You feel the love and affection Jesus felt for the world. You feel the love of God for the world,
When we enter into the state of splankna, our spirit man begins to vibrate with the same resonance as God. We begin to feel the same heart as God has for His people. It is a vibrating, feeling, fire burning with His love for His people. It is a life giving force within you. Unless we can feel, know and experience splankna, we cannot move in the power of God.
For example, in leading praise and worship, you can practice your vocal cords and guitar chords and be conscious of the music, background noise, your efforts in playing, be conscious of what people think. You may have so many conscious states in that one act of playing. As you begin to play, you not only prepare yourself in the natural but also in the spirit to enter into the splankna. As you enter into that state, you just do not see the people, you also see their needs, the pains and the hurts. You feel a vibrating force and love that comes from the spirit man. With each word you utter or sing, you are giving a dosage of love to the people with your whole being. The people cannot define it but they can sense something different. In preaching, you can prepare all you want to give a good speech or good talk but it is different when the splankna burns within you. When you speak, people can feel the pulsating love coming from you to them. It is a state and a substance. That’s splankna, the compassion of Jesus Christ.
When some worship leaders first begin to lead in praise and worship for a church service, they would spend the whole week practicing and praying and preparing themselves for the Sunday service. They do so, so that they may be channels of God’s grace and anointing during the service. They are exercising their splankna. But after many months and even years of leading in worship, they prepare themselves less and less until they come to a point that it is just another routine, another job to do. They have lost the tenderness of their splankna as they had in the early days. Be careful of coming to this stage where even doing a service for God can come from a cold or lukewarm heart.
The same goes for preachers. Young preachers just starting out in the ministry would often spend much time studying and praying and preparing themselves for the service. They too are exercising their splankna as they feel the vibrations of God’s love for the church and pouring many hours in weeping and intercession. But as time goes along, because of their experience and years of delivering so many messages that they are able to speak at a moment’s notice, they settle down to another routine, another job to do, and another chore. There are no more the secret tears; the weeping over lost souls, the feeling of God’s love. They have become established in their own reputation and self-glory but knows not that the glory has departed from them. There is no more splankna in their messages.
Compassion can be Increase or Decreased
1 John 3: 17 But whosoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his compassions (splankna) from him, how will the love of God dwell in him?
It is possible to suppress your splankna. When a tuning fork is struck, it will send out vibrations and begin to resonant another tuning fork of the same note. Likewise, God’s Spirit is full of compassion, and will send out vibrations to our spirit man when we are in synchrony with Him. We will enter into the same state of compassion that God has.
How we move with splankna depends on how we walk with God’s heart. How we move with God’s hand depends on how we synchronize with God’s heart. God’s heart represents His compassion, God’s hand His power. How much of God’s hand we tap on depends on how much we tap on His heart.
When we move into this state of compassion, this splankna cannot keep still. You cannot say that you have compassion, and not do anything for the plight of people and the suffering you see. When you have compassion, you are moved. Jesus was moved with compassion. Compassion has a strong compelling moving force that will drive you to do something and not let you rest until you see it is done. When you see a brother in need, compassion will begin to rise up. But I John 3: 17 indicates that you can shut up your compassion or splankna. It is possible to keep suppressing that splankna to rise up from within you whenever you see a brother in need. When you do so, you are effectively cutting off the love of God from dwelling in you. Paul says that if I do not have love, I am nothing. The more you suppress your splankna from operating, the more you are making yourself nothing in the eyes of God. The more you exercise your splankna, the more you are making yourself something in the eyes of God. So you have the world’s goods – so what? – you are nothing if you don’t move with compassion and help your brother in need.
It is just not mercy. If it is mercy, it is just like a judge on a judgment seat. All the trials are completed, the sentence given but the judge on the judgment throne says that you are pardoned. But splankna is when you get off the judgment throne, walk down to the pardoned person, embrace him and help him walk the new life. That’s the difference between eleeo and splankna.
When you have splankna in your spirit, it will affect your soul, your mind and thoughts. Your mind filled with thoughts of anger and resentment will turn to love and compassion for people. You cannot come into God’s presence and be so touched by His love and compassion and then come out and hate people. Cannot! You are so touched that you are melted in your heart like ice in the heat. You have been so touched and loved by God that you feel His love over and over again and when you come out you feel that love coming out to people again.
Splankna moves you to act, to do something, to perform something. Moving, vibrating with love like an overcharged generator. The moment you touch it, sparks come out. So much splankna and power is stored up in Jesus Christ.
The reason why Kathryn Kuhlman witnessed such powerful miracles in her meetings constantly is because she keeps on exercising her splankna. After a night’s meeting when there were so many miracles taking place, you would have thought that she would be happy and contented. No, instead, when she goes home, she would not think of those miracles only but she would think of the many who did not receive any miracle, or healing or touch from the Lord. She would weep and pray and intercede for them. She would keep asking, “Why was this person not healed? Why is that person not touched?” and then she would weep for them. That was how her splankna grew. As her splankna grew, creative and powerful miracles continue to flow from her spirit. How often she would say when she sees a person suffering from some painful disease that she wished that disease would come on her that the person may walk away free and healed of that sickness. You can see her heart that is filled with pulsating, vibrating splankna.
Compassion has Degrees
2 Cor 6: 11-13 O you Corinthians, our speech to you is candid, our heart is wide open. On our part there is no constraint, but there is constrain in your affections (splankna). In fair exchange (I speak as unto my children) open wide your hearts (splankna) to us.
Paul’s splankna has grown to such a degree that there were no more restrictions. However the Corinthians’ splankna towards Paul was still restricted and was degrees less than Paul’s. We can either continue to grow in splankna, or stifle the splankna or decrease the splankna.
Paul felt how much he loved the Jews. Agape is God’s love. Splankna is God’s love actualized and experienced in your spirit and soul and body and touches every part of your being. Paul said that if it were possible, he would have gone to hell that the Jews may go to heaven. Paul felt a compulsive love for the Jews. When you feel the splankna, the needs and the life of people, you bring about the power of God in meetings.
Matthew 18: 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion (splankna), and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 18: 33 Should you not also have compassion (eleeo) on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
Splankna involves eleeo and pathos. If you cannot reach the stage where you have splankna, why don’t you have at least eleeo? Before you can have splankna, you must have eleeo.
People have a natural pity. You feel a sense of pity for people even before you were born again. When you are born again, you feel mercy for people, loving your enemy but that is not splankna. When you move in splankna you feel the vibrating force of God’s love. In mercy, love is imparted. In splankna love is flooding. You talk of the force of love in splankna. You talk of forgiveness of sins in mercy. Mercy renders the forgiveness. Splankna renders the force.
Bro Dhinakaran, an evangelist from India, has a powerful ministry where he preaches to multitudes in his Jesus Calls crusades. He sees many powerful miracles in his miracle rally. Sometimes when he sees the crowds, his heart would be moved with compassion, and he senses something rising up from within, and when he couldn’t stand it anymore, he cries out, “Jesus.” That is when miracles break out all at once over the auditorium or crusade field. That is the release of splankna. He once shared that the secret of developing compassion or splankna in his life is he spends many hours meditating and weeping over the sufferings of Jesus for the world. In that way, his splankna is constantly exercised and filled to overflowing with the divine love of God.