2017-07-06 - Great Compassion
Matt 9:12-13 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus was asked why He was meeting and eating with sinners. The Lord had accepted the invitation of a tax collector. The Jewish people despised them. They were often Jews who had effectively gone to work for the Roman government that had occupied their nation.
Let's focus on verse 13. Verse 12 is more familiar to many, but verse 13 is the completion of the thought that actually starts before the verses listed above. The word "not" could be translated "more than". So, God desires compassion more than sacrifice. He wants both from us, but if we are not able to be compassionate our desire to sacrifice will be impaired.
We have one bill that is on auto-pay. It supports a teenaged girl. It is on auto-pay so that it is always paid and always on time. She comments on how thankful she is for the support. She acknowledges the compassion she is given by God through us. And we are grateful to be able to be the channel that supports her.
Several years ago I was going through a very rough time. A friend called to see how I was doing. Her call was so well timed. When we hung up I thanked her for her time and compassion. She told me that someday I would be "God's love with skin on" for someone else someday.
Jesus spent three years walking and teaching anyone who would listen, talking to those who society had pushed aside, pushing back against those who studied the scriptures and missed the point, and those who were walking down the wrong path like Matthew … the Tax Collector. The stories spoke pointedly to the need in the lives of those listening like food for their spirits.
Jesus came and showed the heart of God the Father full of grace and mercy. The Father was making a way to redeem His children. Compassion was being poured out after 400 years of silence. Will you be God's love with skin on and share God's great compassion? It can be as simple as a phone call. Selah.
Father - Open our hearts, minds, eyes and ears. Make us aware of what is happening around us. Thank you for the friends You place in my path that help me see more clearly. Show us where we can share Your compassion with the hurting world around us. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.