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I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 13:15 (NLT)

“And Jesus had compassion…”

Those words spring up throughout the ministry of Jesus while he was on earth. He had compassion on the woman caught red-handed in bed with a man she wasn’t married to.

He had compassion on the parent whose child had just died or was very sick.

He had compassion on the rich young ruler who, tried as he might, just couldn’t do what was necessary to receive the gift of eternal life. He just couldn’t let go.

He had compassion on the traitor who sold out to the enemy and, as a result, was a social outcast.

He had compassion on the person so steeped in religion that he couldn’t comprehend the simple steps it took to receive eternal life.

He had compassion on those who were his closest friends and yet were more concerned about their own status than they were their brother.

He had compassion on the guard that beat him nearly to death and then pounded huge spikes into his already pain-filled flesh.

“He had compassion….”

Why did Jesus have compassion on so many people that rejected him, either openly, or unintentionally? What drove him so such lengths to give his very life for the very people who thought they took it from him?

Jesus had compassion because he knew the Father and knew that the Father was, in his very essence, compassion. That is what drove Jesus to reach out to the weak, the frail, the sick and the rebellious. And that’s what drives Jesus to reach out to you. Not a single deserved the touch of Jesus compassion. Not a single person can repay him for what he did. Neither can you.

Jesus says to us, “Follow my example”, and when he does so he is asking…commanding us rather, to show compassion in the same way that he did.

Our reaction to those around us is a reflection of our view of God. If we see a god of revenge we will seek justice rather than mercy. If we see a god of anger we will respond to those who have hurt us in anger. If we see an unforgiving god we will refuse to forgive those who have hurt us. But if we see a God of compassion, we will respond to those around us as Jesus did.

PRAYER: Father, once again I am humbled as I approach your throne today. I confess that it is easy to show compassion to those I don’t know, or those who are like me and who are kind to me. It’s hard to show compassion to the ‘bad people’ around me, yet that is what you would do. Fill me today with the power from your Spirit to show compassion to those who need it the most. Thank you for the example you gave us in Jesus. In his name I pray, Amen.

 

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