The Father Of Compassion- 2 Corinthians 1:3

As we continue in our study of the opening chapter of 2 Corinthians, we find Paul referring to God here as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”. We will undertake a closer examination of this phrase in order to understand just what we believe Paul would like us to understand about God in this verse. We first find God referred to here as the “Father of compassion”. We have examined, in our previous post, what Paul has in mind in the use of the term “Father”, with this representing the idea that all who are a father’s children will do as their father does. All who would desire to refer to themselves as God’s children must do as He does, and what He does here is have “compassion”. The Greek word translated as compassion here is oiktirmos, derived from the root word oikos, which literally means “to dwell”. One may wonder how we get to the English word compassion from a word which means to dwell, but it is actually rather straightforward. We may think of compassion in these terms , as “dwelling” in the same place as another, as putting yourself in their shoes, seeing things from their point of view. To have compassion for another is to see things from their perspective, to try to experience things from their point of view. It is in this understanding of things that we may understand God as the “Father of compassion”, for He chose to “dwell in the same place” as we do by becoming one of us, by “dwelling” among us for 33 years as one of us, putting Himself “in our shoes” as God incarnate. God the Father chose to see things from our perspective, to experience things from our point of view through the person of God the Son in the ultimate act of “compassion”. It is no coincidence that the final week of Jesus’ earthly sojourn is referred to as the “passion”, for it is in this week that He displayed the compassion of God the Father, “dwelling” in our place and dying on the cross for our sin in the ultimate act of compassion. As disciples of Jesus and children of the Father of compassion, we should endeavor in all we do to be children of compassion, to learn to put ourselves in others shoes, to see things from their perspective, to conduct ourselves as children of compassion rather than children of judgment.

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