In His kindness, Jesus ministered to the needs of others. Rather than rebuking, ignoring, or antagonizing those who came for help, Jesus habitually responded with kindness. He assured people of His willingness to help them and followed through with kind actions by relieving their afflictions.
A leper came to Jesus, requesting, "'Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.' Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed'" (Matthew 8:3).
A centurion approached Jesus, saying, "'Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.' Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him'" (Matthew 8:7).
Two blind men followed Jesus, "crying out, 'Have mercy on us, Son of David!'" After Jesus inquired about their faith, "He touched their eyes, saying, 'It shall be done to you according to your faith'" (Matthew 9:28).
Multitudes thronged after Jesus, with an abundance of sicknesses. Jesus "took [their] infirmities and carried away [their] diseases" (Matthew 8:17).
People did not even have to come to Jesus in order to experience His kindness. He often extended His kindness without being asked. When Jesus saw needs, He responded with provision and deliverance.
While Jesus was mourning the death of John the Baptist, "He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). He followed His time of healing with a miraculous provision of food so that His listeners would not have to leave hungry from a desolate place after dark.
When the disciples were overwhelmed by a dangerous storm at sea, Jesus "came to them, walking on the sea" and rescued them (Matthew 14:25).
Jesus even showed kindness for people who would have been considered His enemies. While He disagreed with their beliefs and actions, He did not respond with antagonism, but ministered even to these people.
Jesus knew that Judas was contriving to betray Him, yet He continued to speak kindly to Judas rather than harshly. He did not reveal to the other disciples Judas's status as a traitor. Even when Judas approached with the conspirators, Jesus said, "Friend, do what you have come for" (Matthew 26:50).
In the process of Jesus' arrest, one of the adversaries had his ear cut off. Jesus stopped His disciples from additional violence, "and He touched his ear and healed him" (Luke 22:51).
A believer who wishes to imitate Jesus' kindness will exercise these same principles. He will give compassionate attention to the needs that others bring before him, showing a willingness to relieve the difficulties. He will notice needs, even without their being overtly mentioned, and will proactively reach out with help. He will extend kindness even to those who seem undeserving and antagonistic, thus showing the love of God and reflecting the character of God.
Kindness evidences a desire to improve the lives and circumstances of others, doing so in a way that makes others feel respected and cared for. Kindness can often accomplish what confrontation cannot. An action done with kindness will be far more meaningful than the same action done grudgingly. A person characterized by kindness will be in a better position to help others, as he minimizes the intimidation, fear, and shame that are often associated with seeking help. A kind spirit is an invitation to those in need.
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted." Ephesians 4:32