20 Important Bible Verses About Compassion (With Commentary)

20 Important Bible Verses About Compassion (With Commentary)

Compassion is a virtue that lies at the heart of God’s character, and the Bible is filled with verses that emphasize the importance of showing compassion to others. In this blog post, we will explore a selection of these verses, discovering the transformative power of compassion in our lives and the lives of those around us.

From the example set by Jesus to the call to love our neighbors, these verses will inspire you to extend kindness, empathy, and understanding to all. So, open your heart wide as we embark on this compassionate journey through the pages of the Bible.

Bible Verses About Compassion

Psalm 103:13

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”

This verse illustrates the deep and personal nature of God’s compassion. It compares God’s compassion to that of a father for his children, highlighting the care, protection and concern that God has for those who revere and honor Him.

Lamentations 3:22-23

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

These verses remind us of God’s infinite love and mercy, emphasizing that His compassion never runs out. We can trust in His unfailing love and care, even during the darkest and most challenging times in our lives.

Matthew 9:36

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Here, Jesus exemplifies the nature of compassion by showing empathy for people who were suffering and in need. Jesus saw the vulnerability and helplessness of the people and was moved to action to help and heal them.

Galatians 6:2

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

This verse urges us to show compassion to one another by bearing each other’s burdens. We are called to support and care for others, sharing their struggles and trials as we walk alongside them in their journey.

1 Peter 3:8

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

Here, we are reminded to cultivate a spirit of compassion, expressing love and empathy towards others. Through compassion, we are able to build relationships and foster a community of care and support.

Isaiah 30:18

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

This verse illustrates the tenderhearted nature of God, revealing His longing and desire to show compassion and mercy to His people. It encourages us to wait patiently for Him, knowing that He is just and faithful to answer our cries for help.

Colossians 3:12

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

This verse reminds us that as followers of Christ, we are called to put on compassion as if it were clothing. Our actions and attitudes should be marked by kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, all of which flow from a heart full of compassion for others.

James 5:11

“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

The example of Job’s perseverance in the midst of trials is used to demonstrate the compassion and mercy of God. Even in the face of intense suffering and loss, God does not abandon us but continues to show us His grace and mercy.

Psalm 112:4

“Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.”

This verse promises light in the darkness for those who practice compassion and righteousness. It encourages us to live with a compassionate and caring heart even in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances.

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Romans 12:15

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

This verse instructs us to be compassionate in our relationships with others. It calls us to empathize with people’s joys and struggles, sharing in their emotions and experiences with kindness and care.

Psalm 86:15

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

As one of many examples in Scripture, this verse illustrates the compassionate character of God. It emphasizes God’s graciousness and overflowing love, assuring us of His unending compassion towards us.

Proverbs 14:31

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

This verse reminds us that to be compassionate means to honor and reverence God. We honor Him by showing kindness and care to those who are in need, recognizing that it is our responsibility to steward the resources He has given us to bless others.

Psalm 41:1

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.”

This verse highlights the blessings that come to those who show compassion to the vulnerable and weak. It assures us of God’s deliverance and provision when we care for the needs of others.

Micah 6:8

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This verse encapsulates the heart of what it means to be compassionate. We are called to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly in relationship with God, seeking to reflect His heart of compassion towards those around us.

Mark 6:34

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, he began teaching them many things.”

Here, Jesus demonstrates His compassionate nature towards those who were lost and in need of guidance. He saw their need and was moved to act, teaching and guiding them towards healing and hope.

Psalm 119:77

“Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.”

Asking for the Lord’s compassion, this verse highlights the importance of His compassion in sustaining our lives. It emphasizes that His compassion is a vital part of the human experience, providing nourishment, guidance, and care.

Romans 12:20-21

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

This verse demonstrates the radical power of compassion in addressing conflict and brokenness. It calls us to extend compassion even to those who have injured us, and promises that love and kindness, rather than retaliation, have the power to overcome evil.

Colossians 3:13

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

This verse speaks to the transformative nature of compassion in relationships. It calls us to bear with and forgive one another, recognizing that God’s own compassion towards us enables us to extend compassion towards others.

Zechariah 7:9

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”

God exhorts us through the prophets to demonstrate true justice and compassion. These values are closely linked – true justice is administered fairly and with deep compassion for the individuals affected by it.

Psalm 116:5

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”

This verse emphasizes the character of God as full of compassion. It reassures us that He is always ready to show His tender-heartedness and love towards us.

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Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

This beatitude ascribed by Jesus reveals the intimacy between the giving and receiving of compassion in the human experience. Through compassion, we are able to experience God’s own love and receive His mercy.

Ephesians 4:32

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

This verse points us to the heart of Christian community, emphasizing the centrality of compassion and forgiveness in our relationships with each other. We are called to emulate God’s own love and kindness towards us.

What is the biblical understanding of compassion?

Compassion is a central theme in the Bible, reflecting the heart of God towards humanity. It is a profound and multifaceted concept that encompasses empathy, love, mercy, and a willingness to help those in need. Throughout the scriptures, the biblical understanding of compassion is revealed through the actions and teachings of various individuals and, most importantly, through the character of God Himself.

Compassion as a Divine Attribute

The Bible portrays God as a compassionate and loving deity. In numerous passages, God’s compassion is described as boundless and enduring. One of the most well-known verses demonstrating this aspect of God’s character is found in the Old Testament book of Psalms:

  • “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” – Psalm 145:8 (NIV)

This verse highlights God’s compassion as an essential part of His nature. It is not a transient emotion but a deeply ingrained attribute of His character, shaping His interactions with humanity. The Bible frequently depicts God’s compassion as extending to all people, regardless of their circumstances or shortcomings.

Compassion in the Life of Jesus

While the Old Testament lays the foundation for the biblical understanding of compassion, the New Testament introduces Jesus Christ as the embodiment of God’s compassion in human form. Jesus’ life and teachings are replete with examples of compassionate acts towards the marginalized, the sick, the oppressed, and the sinful.

  • When Jesus encountered a widow in the town of Nain, grieving the loss of her only son, He was “filled with compassion for her” and raised her son back to life. (Luke 7:13-15 NIV)
  • On another occasion, a leper approached Jesus, imploring Him to heal him, and the Bible records that Jesus was “moved with compassion” and healed the man of his affliction. (Mark 1:40-42 NIV)
  • In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus illustrated the essence of compassion by portraying a Samaritan man who showed mercy and care to a wounded stranger, going above and beyond to aid him. (Luke 10:25-37 NIV)

Through these examples and many others, Jesus exemplified the divine attribute of compassion in action. His willingness to reach out to the suffering and the broken demonstrated God’s love and concern for humanity in a tangible and relatable way.

Compassion Towards Sinners

One of the most profound aspects of biblical compassion is its extension towards sinners. The Bible acknowledges the reality of human sinfulness and the need for redemption, but it also reveals a compassionate God who seeks to reconcile sinners to Himself.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (NIV)

This verse from the New Testament encapsulates the depth of God’s compassion towards humanity. Despite our unworthiness and sinfulness, God’s love and mercy are so profound that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to provide redemption and forgiveness for all who believe in Him.

Jesus’ interactions with notorious sinners during His earthly ministry further exemplify this compassionate approach. He dined with tax collectors and prostitutes, showing them love and acceptance, which sparked criticism from religious leaders of the time. In response, Jesus emphasized that it is not the righteous but the sinners who need His compassion and healing:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32 (NIV)

This attitude of compassionate outreach to sinners is a significant departure from religious legalism and judgmentalism. It reflects God’s desire for genuine transformation and restoration rather than condemnation.

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Compassion in Action

The biblical understanding of compassion is not merely theoretical but calls for practical, tangible expressions of love and care. The Apostle John emphasizes the importance of putting compassion into action:

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

Throughout the Bible, believers are encouraged to show compassion to others, especially the vulnerable and marginalized. In the Old Testament, God instructed His people to care for the poor, widows, orphans, and strangers among them (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). In the New Testament, the Apostle James urged Christians to demonstrate their faith through compassionate deeds:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” – James 1:27 (NIV)

This call to action challenges believers to go beyond feeling compassion and to actively engage in acts of service, mercy, and support for those in need. The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, vividly illustrates this principle:

“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in, I needed clothes, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.” – Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)

The righteous in the parable are commended for their compassionate actions towards others, as they had unknowingly ministered to Jesus Himself through their acts of kindness.

The Call to Be Compassionate

The biblical understanding of compassion establishes a high standard for believers in their treatment of others. Jesus’ teachings and life demonstrate that compassion is not optional but essential for those who follow Him. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, urged them to embrace compassion as a virtue:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Compassion, then, is not only a characteristic of God that believers are called to emulate, but it is also a vital aspect of Christian identity. It becomes a distinctive mark of followers of Christ in a world that often lacks empathy and genuine concern for others.


In conclusion, the biblical understanding of compassion is profound and transformative. It reveals a God who is compassionate at His core and desires His people to embody the same compassion towards one another and the world around them.

Compassion in the Bible goes beyond mere sentiment; it calls for action and practical expressions of love, mercy, and care for those who are suffering, vulnerable, or in need. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ exemplify this compassionate nature, as He reached out to sinners, healed the sick, and showed love to those considered outcasts.

For believers, embracing biblical compassion means recognizing the inherent value and dignity of every person, regardless of their circumstances or past mistakes. It involves extending grace and understanding to others, just as God extends grace and forgiveness to us. Compassion is not a solitary virtue but is intricately connected to other qualities such as love, kindness, and humility.

As believers seek to live out this biblical understanding of compassion, they become agents of positive change in the world. They contribute to the alleviation of suffering, the reconciliation of broken relationships, and the fostering of a more compassionate and empathetic society. Ultimately, embracing biblical compassion allows individuals to reflect the character of God and participate in His redemptive work in the world.

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