He Had Compassion On Them

He Had Compassion On Them
Randall Caselman

He Had Compassion On Them

The gospel narratives record sixty encounters Jesus had with other people, either individuals or groups. Eight of these were with people of high standing, the social elite; twelve were with average folk, much like us; and forty were with the hurting, the poor, hungry, sick, bereaved, the outcast and downtrodden, losers of His day. On each of them, He had compassion.
To our hurting world the only eyes, ears, hands and feet Jesus has are ours. We are His heart of compassion. We are His instruments for doing good. If we do not see and respond to the hurting of our world, who will? Who will indeed? Offer yourselves as instruments of righteousness... For we are Godís workmanship, created in Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do... Bear one anotherís burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Becoming the eyes, ears, hands, feet and compassionate heart of Jesus is our mission.

Why is it so important that we be compassionate?

Our destiny depends upon how we treat others. In the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew chapter twenty-five, eternal destiny was based on whether or not compassion was extended. Christianity includes seeing and serving the Jesus in others. Church attendance without compassion is not the way of Christ, not the law of Christ.
Compassion is a personal response to anotherís need. I was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, in prison; and you cared enough to look after me. I had a need, you compassioned me. You see, if God rules our lives, we will be compassionate. If God lives in us, we will not resist His providential leading us to those who need our help either spiritually or physically.
Serving Jesus is accomplished by serving others. As often as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me. How we feel about a brother is how we feel about God. How we talk about a sister is how we talk about God. How we treat one another is how we treat God.

A knock at the doorí I went to see

If it was the Man of Galilee;

Iíd heard Heíd promised to visit our town,

When He from His heavenly Home came down;

I vowed Iíd gladly welcome Him in,

Give Him a place in this world of sin.

There at the door stood a little child,

Sheíd a dirty look, her hair blown wild:

Would I come and see her mother? She said,

She was very ill and confined to bed!

ďGirl, donít you know Iím engaged today?

Iím waiting for Christ to come this way.Ē

I turned her away and shut the door,

To wait for the knock of Christ once more.

The day dragged on, and the weary night

Came without a visit from Christ the Light;

Displeased and sad I retired to restó

Christís visit had been a cruel jest!

But no, as I dreamt I saw the Lord,

And heard Him speak these scathing words,

ĎI called today, but you knew Me not,

The words of the past you had forgot:

inasmuch as you did it unto one

Of the least of these, to Me it was done.í

I came unto you in lowly guise,

But you couldnít see me with selfish eyes.Ē

I learned a lesson that tragic dayó

That Christ is always coming my way!

When will we admit that God comes to us in others? Some have entertained angels by serving others and were not even aware of it. You see angels donít always come with clean clothes, shining faces and smelling good.
Religion that does not see Jesus in others is hypocrisy. The priest and Levite were religious, well meaning, good folk, but they were more interested in religion than in people. When our religion is more interested in religion than in people it is ugly religion. Jesus spoke of such when He said... You hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. The priest and the Levite saw a bloody body on the side of the road, the Good Samaritan saw Jesus... Thatís compassion!
Compassion is found in small things. That night in the upper room Jesus knew He was about to die for the sins of the twelve, but He washed feet anyway. Compassion is best seen in small acts of kindness and caring: washing feet, the widow's mite, cup of cold water in His name, a sandwich at McDonalds, a few cans of formula, a lift down the highway, ten gallons of gas, a nightís sleep in a real bed, a smile, an encouraging word, sometimes compassion is just saying, I forgive you.
You see folks, as the world looks at the church, they donít see sound doctrine, they donít know the difference between sound doctrine and loose doctrine. What they do see are our good works of compassion. What they do see is Jesus in us.
Paul urges us to become living sacrifices. Becoming the eyes, ears, hands, feet and compassionate heart of Jesus is our mission. Scripture tells us without any doubt that, as children of God, we are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son... Are we willing?

óRandall Caselman

Written By

Bella Vista Church of Christ


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