Jesus’s compassion can be witnesses in every single one of His miracles. He healed the sick. He cured the blind. He made the deaf hear and the lame walk. He fed the hungry multitudes and raised the dead. He died for the sins of all and rose again, conquering death and the grave. He genuinely cared and still cares for the needs of people.
As Jesus, His followers and a large crowd were entering the town of Nain, they witnessed a funeral procession. As they watched, they could see the young man who had died, being carried out of the town gate, followed by his family—his widowed mother alone, and a large group of mourners from the town. This young man had been the only son, the only support for his mother. Now she was truly alone.
Jesus had compassion for her. Verse 13 says, “When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, ‘Don’t cry.’” He walked up to the young man, touched the coffin, and said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” (vs 14) The young man sat up, started talking, “and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” (vs 15)
As a group, how’s the compassion of your church? Do you welcome strangers and help those in need? We moved recently, and I’ve had the experience of “church shopping.” I’m rather shy and this is not something I enjoy doing. As a preacher’s kid, I have experienced different kinds of churches, from loving and formal to judgmental huggers, from quiet and conservative to laid back and contemporary. So, I have a pretty good idea of what atmosphere I want. Over the months I have tried four different churches. The first had only a few people and only the pastor greeted me. The second was large, but no one greeted me, and I had to go find the pastor to greet him, because he sat in the front row after the service for people to come to him. The third was a medium sized church where I knew the pastor and his wife, and by the fourth week attending even they didn’t greet me. The final one, I was greeted warmly every week and invited back and someone even asked if they could sit with me. Now that church showed compassion to me, a stranger. No wonder it is growing and thriving.
How about in our own lives? Do we see hurting people and walk away, or do we have compassion on them and love them as Jesus ambassadors? We are to love our brothers and sisters, but we are also to love the world! Check your compassion level and let your heart go out to a world in need.