Lesson for the Lord’s Day

But a certain Samaritan, as He journeyed, came where he was, and when He saw him, He had compassion on him. Luke 10:33

Webster’s dictionary defines compassion as to suffer with another; hence, sympathy; sorrow for the distressed or unfortunate with the desire to help. If that is true (and who are we to argue with Webster?) then the compassion of the Lord Jesus was far beyond merely feeling sorry for us and wanting to help us. The parable of the Good Samaritan provides a wonderful demonstration of His compassion. Just as the Samaritan in the parable, the Lord Jesus journeyed and came to where we were. All the way from the ivory palaces to this world of woe, from the praise and devotion of seraphim to the shame and spitting of the Sanhedrin, from the pinnacle of glory’s praise to the depths of Golgotha’s sorrows, that’s the demonstration of Jesus’ compassion for us. He is our example of compassion.

Firstly, the Lord Jesus is our example by living His compassion. Not only was His coming into the world an act of compassion, but so was His walk through this world. think of all of those He ministered to who were sick and suffering, grieving and fearful. His deeply caring heart flowed with compassion that was manifested in every step He took, every act He performed, every sentence He spoke. The extent of His compassion is shown in His sacrifice for us at Calvary, His willingness to endure all of the suffering of body, soul, and spirit to purchase our redemption. He lived His compassion.

The Lord Jesus also taught compassion. The account of the Good Samaritan is not only a description of what the Lord Jesus has done for us, it is also a description of how we should respond to the needs of others. He is teaching us that we are not to discriminate in any way when we reach out to those who are hurting and perishing. He is teaching us not to limit our efforts when it comes to helping those in need, but to to as far as it takes to reach them. He is teaching us that our hearts should also be compassionate, and to display that compassion. He taught His compassion.

Thirdly, the Lord Jesus expects His compassion from us. Having given us an example and a description of compassion, He tells us ‘Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted (compassionate), forgiving one another’ (Ephesians 4:32). He asks us in 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? If the primary goal of a Christian’s life is to be like the life of the Lord Jesus, we must allow compassion to be the dominant force in our life.

The Lord Jesus had compassion, far more compassion than we are capable of. But He has not set us a standard to meet, but an example to follow. -Jim MacIntosh

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