You are welcome to this edition. This is “The Weightier Matters” which appeared in the last edition.
Compassion, Mercy, Kindness and Love.
All words that spell differently but mean the same thing. Compassion is a quality in Christ Jesus life and ministry that you cannot fail to notice it in every step. He took his every word displayed it, every action and movement was motivated by it. It moved Him to carry out every healing, it dripped from every sermon He preached and was the most obvious motive for every prayer. From the manger to the grave, Jesus was propelled by one thing: compassion. Even when He rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, compassion was still the essence of His discourse. Every way you want to look at His revelation to John in the book of Revelation, Jesus compassion could not be hidden.
So why is compassion so rare in our world today? We have a plentitude of churches and ministries and so many are professing to be Christ’s followers. Many claims to be called by Him and tell everybody within earshot that they represent Jesus Christ? Yet, the critical ingredient, the most important quality that marked Jesus Christ apart from all other religious figures down the ages, is so strangely missing. If there is a gauge in heaven (and I believe there is) that measures compassion levels in churches and individual lives, and God gave us the privilege to see it, I wonder what it would read.
It has not always been different in Jesus day. In John 8 we read the story of how the Pharisees caught a woman in the very act of adultery and brought her to Jesus, seeking to stone her. Jesus didn’t condemn her either. He showed compassion, quieted the hostile Pharisees with calm reasoning and sent the woman on her way with the instructions to “go and sin no more”. I wonder what we would have done if we were in Jesus shoes on that day.
I wonder what we are doing with our own modern-day versions of that woman caught in adultery. And they abound in our towns and cities. Take a closer look around you on your street or the next, in your family or church. An ex-prisoner, a pregnant teenage girl, a widow, an area boy. The list goes on someone is there that is just like that woman in John 8.
Every one of us can preach about Christ’s quiet wisdom in handling such a sensitive problem, but I wonder what we do when the tables are turned and the woman is a relation or someone in our neighbourhood or church. What would you do if she was your sister (or daughter) or a member of your local church? What strict instructions would you give your children about such people? Whose side would you be found? On the side of the killer-mob, shouting for her blood, armed with stones, ready to do her in … or on Jesus side?
No doubt that was a turning point in that woman’s life. I think she went on to obey Jesus instruction to “go and sin no more”. The compassion that gave her another chance also healed her of her spiritual problem. Her deliverance was accomplished by one act of compassion from Jesus.
God has proved in a countless circumstance that He is not just “the God of a second chance”, We can jump at the opportunity to condemn someone because they appear to be taking God’s mercy for granted. They seem to love making wrong choices. But don’t we all do the same in one way or another.
“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”
- 5: 20b(KJV)
“But where sin increased, God’s grace (Compassion, mercy, kindness, love) increased much more” (Good News Bible. Emphasis mine).
“But the more we see our sinfulness, the more we see God’s abounding grace forgiving us.
In Luke10;33. Jesus himself tells the story of a Jewish traveller who was mugged by a gang of an armed robber and the man was at the point of death lying helplessly by the roadside. First, a priest pass by following was the Levite. They were religious leaders; surely they’d have compassion on this wounded man. But no, they both had important appointments to keep and didn’t stop. There a Samaritan came along. Of all people, he’d the most reason to look the other way, because the Jews and the Samaritans were longstanding enemies. But the Bible says’……he… came where he was. and when he saw him.’ he had compassion’.
Compassion will rearrange your priorities’
The Good Samaritan decided that where he was going wasn’t so important as where he was at that particular moment. What would you have done that day? Do you think you’d have acted like this Samaritan? How about when God tries to interrupt your inflexible, tightly organized, written-in-concrete schedule and ask you to take time for someone who’s hurting, dying and have no money to pay hospital bill? What are the questions came to your mind? Is he or she a Christian? Has he or she converted? Are you willing to shelve your personal agenda and do what he wants? If you are too busy! Do you care to look for those doing what you are commanded to do and hire them to do it for you? Are you too busy? Remember, nobody was busier than Jesus yet He always responded to those in need.
Today, ask God to help you begin thinking and acting like Christ, and don’t miss another opportunity to serve or give support to those who are serving.
Watch out for the concluding parts in subsequent editions.
About 2 weeks ago, the Chief Judge of Oyo State for the first time gave an open commendation about what we are doing and he sent a boy to the home for rehabilitation, but alas without money to carry out the job, no enough food to feed the inmates.