30 Bible Verses About Empathy (With Commentary)

30 Bible Verses About Empathy (With Commentary)

In a world where compassion and understanding are often overlooked, exploring Bible verses about empathy can provide profound insights. Discover how these verses inspire us to walk in the shoes of others, extend kindness, and cultivate a heart that reflects God’s love for humanity.

Bible Verses About Empathy

Romans 12:15

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

This verse urges us to empathize deeply with others, both in their joy and their sorrow. Sharing in others’ emotions promotes community and unity, essential Christian principles. It’s a clear instruction on how to practice empathy, by actively sharing in others’ experiences.

Hebrews 4:15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses…”

This verse underscores Jesus’ unique ability to empathize with humanity’s weaknesses, having lived as a human Himself. It encourages us to find comfort in His understanding, which can help us extend similar empathy to others.

1 Peter 3:8

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

This verse is a powerful call for empathy, compassion, and humility. Peter emphasizes these virtues as cornerstones of Christian living. He paints empathy not just as feeling but also as an action that involves love and understanding.

Colossians 3:12

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

The Apostle Paul here describes empathy as an essential part of Christian attire. It’s a conscious choice to respond with understanding, kindness, and patience, resembling God’s own compassion.

1 Corinthians 12:26

“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

Paul compares the church to a body, illustrating that empathy should be as inherent in Christian communities as the interconnectedness of body parts. It’s a mutual bearing of burdens and sharing of joy.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Paul emphasizes God as the ultimate source of comfort and compassion. He teaches that we must share the comfort we receive from God with others, mirroring His divine empathy.

Luke 6:36

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Jesus calls us to reflect the mercy of God in our interactions. This command encourages empathy by asking us to understand others’ struggles, showing them the same mercy we have received from our Heavenly Father.

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Ephesians 4:32

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

Paul again underlines empathy in our interactions. The call to forgive as we have been forgiven requires deep empathy, as forgiveness often demands understanding another’s perspective.

Philippians 2:4

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Paul reminds us not to be self-centered but to consider others’ interests, a key component of empathy. It’s a call to action that empathy isn’t passive but involves actively considering and prioritizing others’ needs.

Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…”

Known as the Golden Rule, this verse encapsulates empathy’s essence. To treat others as we want to be treated requires understanding their perspectives, feelings, and experiences.

Galatians 6:2

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

The act of carrying each other’s burdens requires empathy. Paul emphasizes that understanding and sharing in the hardships of others isn’t just a nice gesture, but it’s an essential part of Christian duty.

Matthew 25:35-36

“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.”

In these verses, Jesus uses a series of metaphors to show how essential empathy is in expressing love and kindness. He implies that it’s not enough to feel for someone; true empathy should motivate action.

Proverbs 14:21

“Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.”

This verse from Proverbs warns against apathy towards our neighbors and encourages empathy towards the less fortunate. Empathy is linked here not just with feeling, but with generosity and kindness.

James 2:15-16

“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”

James is criticizing a lack of empathy that does not lead to action. He underscores that true empathy is not just about understanding someone’s condition but also about actively responding to their needs.

John 11:33-35

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled…Jesus wept.”

This passage demonstrates Jesus’ profound empathy. His empathetic response to the sorrow of those around him, even leading him to weep, serves as a model for our own responses to the suffering of others.

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Luke 10:33-34

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds…”

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan’s actions demonstrate a deep sense of empathy. Despite societal norms, he understood the man’s pain and acted to alleviate it.

1 John 3:17

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

John challenges his readers to demonstrate their love for God through their empathy towards others. He indicates that a lack of empathy is incompatible with God’s love.

Psalm 103:13-14

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

The psalmist depicts God as a compassionate father, empathizing with his children. This divine empathy serves as an example and a source of comfort, encouraging us to similarly empathize with others.

Job 2:11

“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.”

Job’s friends demonstrate empathy in their decision to support him during his suffering. Their presence and intention to sympathize with Job reflect the importance of empathy in times of distress. They show us the value of being there for others and providing comfort through understanding.

Luke 7:13

“When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.’”

Jesus’ encounter with the widow of Nain showcases His empathetic nature. He is moved by her grief and responds with compassion, comforting her in her time of sorrow. This verse highlights the empathy of Jesus and encourages us to follow His example.

Proverbs 19:17

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

This proverb emphasizes the interconnectedness of empathy, kindness, and God’s favor. By showing empathy and compassion to the less fortunate, we demonstrate our devotion to the Lord and can expect blessings in return.

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Matthew 9:36

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

Jesus’ compassion towards the crowds reflects His deep empathy for their struggles and challenges. He recognizes their vulnerability and responds with understanding and care. This verse teaches us the importance of empathy in ministering to the needs of others.

Isaiah 58:7

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Isaiah emphasizes the practical aspects of empathy, calling for actions that demonstrate care for those in need. It is not enough to feel sympathy; true empathy involves tangible acts of kindness and support.

Luke 15:20

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father’s response to his wayward child exemplifies profound empathy. Despite his son’s mistakes, the father is filled with compassion and welcomes him back with open arms.

Proverbs 31:20

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”

This verse describes the virtuous woman who exemplifies empathy by actively reaching out to those in need. Her open arms and extended hands symbolize a heart filled with compassion and a willingness to help.

Psalm 41:1

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

The psalmist recognizes the blessings that come to those who show empathy and care for the vulnerable. By extending kindness and support, we invite God’s deliverance and protection into our own lives.

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.”

Micah highlights the importance of empathy by emphasizing justice, mercy, and humility. These qualities are central to our relationship with God and our interactions with others.

Luke 6:31

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

In this verse, often referred to as the Golden Rule, Jesus provides a concise yet powerful statement about empathy. Treating others the way we want to be treated involves putting ourselves in their shoes and understanding their needs and desires.

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