Welfare Ministry


Chapter 2—Christ's Sympathy for Suffering Humanity

Christ Himself Suffers With Suffering Humanity—Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. He reproved His own nation for their wrong treatment of their fellow men. The neglect or abuse of the weakest, the most erring believers He speaks of as rendered to Himself. The favors shown them are accredited as bestowed upon Himself. He has not left us in darkness concerning our duty, but often repeats the same lessons through different figures and in different lights. He carries the actors forward to the last great day, and declares that the treatment given to the very least of His brethren is commended or condemned as if done to Himself. He says, “Ye did it unto Me,” or, “Ye did it not unto Me.” WM 23.1

He is our substitute and surety; He stands in the place of humanity, so that He Himself is affected as His weakest follower is affected. Such is the sympathy of Christ, which never allows Him to be an indifferent spectator of any suffering caused to His children. Not the slightest wound can be given by word, spirit, or action, that does not touch the heart of Him who gave His life for fallen humanity. Let us bear in mind that Christ is the great heart from which the lifeblood flows to every organ in the body. He is the head, from which extends every nerve to the minutest and remotest member of the body. When one member of that body with which Christ is so mysteriously connected, suffers, the throb of pain is felt by our Saviour. WM 23.2

Will the church arouse? Will its members come into sympathy with Christ, so they will have His tenderness for all the sheep and lambs of His fold? For their sake the Majesty of heaven made Himself of no reputation; for them He came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, He toiled day and night to instruct, to elevate, and to bring everlasting joy to a thankless, disobedient people. For their sake He became poor, that they through His poverty might be rich. For them He denied Himself; for them He endured privation, scorn, contempt, suffering, and death. For them He took the form of a servant. This is our pattern; will we copy it? Will we have a care for God's heritage? Will we cherish tender compassion for the erring, the tempted, and the tried?—Letter 45, 1894. WM 24.1

Touched With the Feelings of Our Infirmities—Christ, our substitute and surety, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His human life was one long travail in behalf of the inheritance He was to purchase at such an infinite cost. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. In consideration of the value He places upon the purchase of His blood, He adopts them as His children, makes them the objects of His tender care, and in order that they may have their temporal and spiritual necessities supplied, He commits them to His church, saying, “Inasmuch as ye do it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye do it unto Me.”—Manuscript 40, 1899. WM 24.2

Christ Came to Relieve Suffering—This world is a vast lazar house, but Christ came to heal the sick, to proclaim deliverance to the captives of Satan. He was in Himself health and strength. He imparted His life to the sick, the afflicted, those possessed of demons. He turned away none who came to receive His healing power. He knew that those who petitioned Him for help had brought disease upon themselves; yet He did not refuse to heal them. And when virtue from Christ entered into these poor souls, they were convicted of sin, and many were healed of their spiritual disease, as well as of their physical maladies. The gospel still possesses the same power, and why should we not today witness the same results? WM 24.3

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ's servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.—The Desire of Ages, 823, 824. WM 25.1

Christ alone had experience in all the sorrows and temptations that befall human beings. Never another of woman born was so fiercely beset by temptation; never another bore so heavy a burden of the world's sin and pain. Never was there another whose sympathies were so broad or so tender. A sharer in all the experiences of humanity He could feel not only for, but with, every burdened and tempted and struggling one.—Education, 78. WM 25.2

Christ Reached Rich and Poor Alike—Christ took a position which was on a level with the poor, that through His poverty we might become rich in beauty of character, and be, as He was, a savor of life unto life. By becoming poor He could sympathize with the poor. His humanity could touch their humanity and help them to gain the perfection of right habits and a noble character. He could teach them how to lay up for themselves in heaven imperishable treasures. The commander in the heavenly courts, He became one with humanity, a partaker of their sufferings and afflictions, that through the representation of His character in its unsullied purity they might become partakers of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. And Christ was a joy to the rich, for He could teach them how to sacrifice their earthly possessions to help to save the souls perishing in the darkness of error.—Letter 150, 1899. WM 25.3

Cultivate Christlike Compassion and Sympathy—The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be His followers, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woes must give place to lively interest in the sufferings of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick, and the dying will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel—to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved, and you have shown a lively interest in the afflicted, the heart is opened, and you can pour in the heavenly balm. If you are looking to Jesus, and drawing from Him knowledge and strength and grace, you can impart His consolation to others, because the Comforter is with you.—The Medical Missionary, January, 1891. WM 26.1