In a previous meditation, we suggested that to see COMPASSION lived out, there was only one Person to look to, that is Jesus Christ. Charles Wesley gave expression to this in one of his hymns:
Jesus, Thou art all compassion
pure, unbounded love Thou art.
In our future meditations we will consider seven occasions in the New Testament where we read that Jesus ‘had compassion’ towards others.
Suggested reading: Matthew chapter 18 verses 15-35.
Is there someone who has wronged you and the division created between you has not been resolved? If so, have you acknowledged that the first move must come from you? Jesus set the standard, when He taught, ‘Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone’, Matthew chapter 18 verse 15.
It is often reassuring to hear Peter speak, because he often reflects our own thoughts and actions. He seized the opportunity to ask, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’, verse 21. He wanted to place a limit upon the number of times he did so. Jesus’s reply challenged him: ‘I do not say to you seven times but up to seventy times seven’, verse 22. This is unlimited forgiveness; indeed, once you have forgiven this many times, it will become habitual to do so!
Following these words, Jesus went on to tell a parable in which He spoke of a master, who was ‘moved with COMPASSION’ towards a debtor and ‘forgave him the debt’, verse 27. He not only forgave his debtor but he cancelled the large debt he owed him! If we appreciate how much we have been forgiven by God, we ought to show compassion to others who have offended us. It is sad to witness that the debtor in the parable, who had been forgiven so much by his master, showed no compassion for a fellow servant, who owed him a small amount.
The apostle Paul challenges us: ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you’, Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32.