The Compassion of Christ

Author: Rev. Esther Holmes
May 10, 2018

Think about it!  Rom 5:5  Jesus had a heart for people.  Deep felt compassion – primary and controlling emotion for Pastoral ministry.  Matt 9:36
Strong emotions, courage, compassion, righteous anger, mercy.  Jesus taught about deep felt compassion in three well known parables.
1.  The debtor and the king – Matt 18 – in which compassion provokes forgiveness of a huge debt, teaching us that compassion has priority over and is the source of forgiveness.
2.  The good Samaritan (Luke 10). Jesus’ great courage (compassion) caused him to address his Jewish audience’s deep racial prejudice as He ascribes compassion to the good Samaritan in contrast to the Jewish priest and Levite, thereby making a deeply despised Samaritan the hero of the story.
3.  The prodigal son (Luke 15).  A story that caused a father to act in unexpected loving ways toward his “found” son.
Let’s consider the leper (he jumped out).  The lepers were not allowed to touch anyone. “Sir, if you’re willing to make me clean”.  Lepers were commanded to scream “unclean” whenever around healthy people.  Healthy people would never touch the lepers.  Jewish tradition didn’t allow lepers to be “up wind” from well people.
Imagine the Jews when the leper jumped out and fell at Jesus feet.  Jesus – moved with compassion – didn’t scream “get out of here – you’re breaking the rules”.  Jesus probably admired the do or die risk this leper took.  Jesus saw great pain in his eyes and the pain of alienation.
Lepers were cut off from family, friends, and community.
Rom 15:7  Love one another (receive one another).
Are we in step with Jesus?  Maybe that is why the burden is heavy and the yoke is not easy?