And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus spoke to His disciples about the harvest being plentiful and the need to ask God to send out more workers into the harvest immediately after teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, healing every kind of disease and sickness, seeing the people, and feeling compassion for them because of their helpless, lost, oppressed condition. It seems clear from this passage that it was as He was doing the work of God and relating with peopletalking with them, serving them, touching them, being involved with themthat Jesus was moved with compassion. Jesus was a hands on guy. Every instance recorded in the New Testament in which Jesus was moved with compassion for people was directly related to His being with them. Consider just these two passages:
And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. Matthew 20:34
And moved with compassion, He stretched out His hand, and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed. Mark 1:41
This tells me that if I want to be moved with the same compassion Jesus has for people, I must be with them. Notwithstanding our responsibility to intercede for others, and the love this requires, compassion is released at the point of contact; it is relational.