Be Compassionate! (6)

Suggested reading: Luke chapter 10 verses 25-37; chapter 15 verses 1-32.

When we are unwell, I imagine that most of us would prefer to be in the care of a COMPASSIONATE doctor. Luke, the writer of the Gospel from which we have read today, was, undoubtedly, such a doctor. The incident begins by focusing on two religious men, who saw a fellow Jew in need and yet ‘passed by on the other side’, chapter 10 verse 31. It was left to a despised Samaritan to show COMPASSION, chapter 10 verse 33. It led him to interrupt his journey, come to the spot where the need was, bind up the man’s wounds, provide for his care and return later.

Hearts that are devoid of compassion never experience true joy. This was true of the religious leaders in the days of Jesus. Unlike Him, they showed no compassion for lost souls. The older brother in today’s parable, Luke chapter 15 verses 1-32, left the story more angry than he entered it, verses 28-30. There was certainly no joy in his heart over a ‘lost’ brother, who had been ‘found’. He stands in marked contrast to the shepherd earlier, who found his sheep that was lost. His response was to say to others, ‘REJOICE with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’, chapter 15 verse 6.

The Bible tells us of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, ‘who for the JOY that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame’, Hebrews chapter 12 verse 2. Indeed, He said, ‘there is JOY in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents’, Luke chapter 15 verse 10.

It ought to humble us to know that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit showed compassion toward sinners, such as ourselves, and find great joy in ‘bringing us home’ to heaven!