by Rev. Bill Knippa

Download a printable PDF of the Bible Study: Compassion in Action.

Jesus’ compassion moved Him to action. His eyes see the needs of those around Him. In this Bible study, we are going to focus on our Lord’s compassion as He responded to people’s needs. We also want to sharpen our vision to see the opportunities to be compassionate.

Compassion Around Us

Divide into groups of four. Look through current newspapers to clip articles which report what the group feels to be compassionate acts. Each group then reports to the larger group.

Describe how your life would be different if there was no such thing as compassion in the world.

On a 3×5 card complete the sentence: “It would be compassionate for me to…” Describe a specific example of compassion in action. Save the card for later.

Seeing with Jesus’ Eyes

Divide a piece of paper into three columns with the headings below. Then read each Bible passage, describe the situation, and note Jesus’ response to it. In the last column write how you might respond compassionately today to the same situation.

Situation                                  Jesus’ Action                           My Action
Matthew 14:14
Matthew 15:32
Matthew 20:34
Mark 1:40-42
Mark 6:34
Luke 7:13

Read the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Pay particular attention to verse 33.

  • Would you say that those who “passed by” lacked compassion?
  • What excuses could these two men have given for their behavior?
  • What excuses might we give?

Complete the following:

  • Jesus has shows me compassion by…
  • Knowing that Jesus is compassionate makes me…


Think of Jesus’ compassion and how He responded so personally to those in need. Think of a particular concern, issue, or problem in your own life—one needing a full measure of Jesus’ compassion. Write it down on a 3×5 card.

The leader is to take the cards, shuffle them, and give one to each group member.

Look at the card and, in turn, offer an intercessory prayer focusing on the need stated on that card. (For example, “Lord, I’m asking that You hear our prayer for this friend who is needing Your assurance that he is not alone as he faces difficulties in his home.”)

After all have offered a prayer, take time to look at the “It would be compassionate for me to…” cards written earlier. In silence, each person is to offer a prayer asking the Lord to enable him or her to carry out the task.

Join hands and close with the Lord’s Prayer.


Originally published in Resources for Youth Ministry 85.4.

Updated for youthESource March 2017