Saturday, June 17, 2017

Trademarked by compassion

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 9:27-38

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 10:36

Matthew here goes from zoom-in closeups of Jesus responding, questioning, touching, healing, and casting out demons from individuals (Matthew 9:27-34), to the general effect of His presence and ministry (Matthew 9:35-36).

He was everyone’s as He traveled around visiting the synagogues in big places and small. His work was preaching good news and doing good things for everyone—healing “every sickness and every disease” - Matthew 9:35. His trademark was compassion (Matthew 9:36).

We see this side of Jesus at other times too—like when He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44) and at the grave of His friend Lazarus (John 11:35). A sidebar article in my Bible about Jesus’ compassion suggests facets of it.
It was compassion for hard human hearts and vulnerability to death. “Love sees beyond the immediate and the personal and compassionately relates to the lost, the hurting, the needy, the distressed” - Fuchsia Pickett, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1307 (emphasis added).

That’s my challenge. Perhaps it’s yours too: to see beyond the immediate and the personal, to look past offensive, off-putting behaviours to the very human person behind the actions.

For this we need more than human empathy. To attain real Christlikeness we need the Spirit that lived in Jesus:
“Christlikeness calls us to learn Jesus’ heart of compassion, a depth of sensitivity that can be worked in us through the Holy Spirit, reconditioning our hearts to be able to sense the pain of human bondage (Hebrews 13:1-3) and to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15)” - Fuchsia Pickette, Op. Cit (emphasis added)

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, please work the compassion of Jesus into my outlook and actions today. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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