Comfort and Compassion
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for…” Isaiah 40:1
There are a lot of hurting people in this world, the result of the fall, Satan’s attacks and our own stupidity and wrong choices. Jesus comforted the hurting and had compassion on their plight. He told the woman caught in the very act of adultery that he didn’t accuse her. He told the woman at the well, who was living with her wrong choices, that he had living water for her that would change her life. He fed thousands who had empty bellies and empty hearts.
We see in the fourth chapter of Luke, Jesus standing in the Synagogue in Nazareth where he was raised and quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, “The spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.” Then he tells them that he is the fulfillment of this scripture.
What is the good news? That God loves us that his son came to show us that love and how to love others. Jesus demonstrated compassion and comfort. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:1-2, “Are you strong because you belong to Christ? Does His love comfort you? Do you have joy by being as one in sharing the Holy Spirit? Do you have loving-kindness and pity for each other? Then give me true joy by thinking the same thoughts. Keep having the same love. Be as one in thoughts and actions.” The good news is that what we have received from Jesus, we can share with those other hurting people. His compassion and comfort came out of a heart filled with love. His compassion healed the man with the withered hand in spite of the consequences he would face from the religious people. His compassion drove the demons out of the Gaderine, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers and it forcefully nailed him to the cross. The compassion of Christ was so great that the grave couldn’t hold it, or the five hundred others that came up with him.
Jesus told us that we are to preach this good news of God’s love and compassion. The wonderful news that he sits on the throne of grace in all authority and power then gives us the same authority and power her on earth. The good news that he hasn’t left us here alone, but has sent the Comforter, His Spirit to guide us and teach us. Jesus never put conditions on his love; he just wanted to help people. Search the scriptures and you’ll see he never turned anyone down. Sure, in his home town, in the same chapter quoted above in Luke, he said a prophet couldn’t do much for his own, because of their unbelief, but he still wanted to help them. He never said, “It’s your own fault, deal with it,” but he did tell us, those who say we love him, “what you’ve seen me do, you do it!”
We could reach the world this way – could change the world this way. One person at a time, one smile, one hand reaching out in love, one crust of bread, one warm blanket at a time…
Comfort and Compassion