A Heart Of Compassion
And it happened that as He was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your teacher eating with the tax gatherers and sinners?” But when He heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Jesus
“I desire compassion, and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” The tenderness of our Savior… How well He knows us and is able to encourage us with fresh hope and courage. So many times we fall back into our former sins and yet here He is holding out His hand to us and pulling us back up out of the pit of despair again. His only requirement is that we in turn hold out our hand in compassion to others rather than holding their sins against them. You would think that this would come naturally to us after all that Jesus has forgiven us from and yet we are constantly guilty of pointing out other people’s faults as though pointing it out was the cure for it. Being able to see someone else’s faults does not take the wisdom of the ages, it comes naturally. This is not to say that a word in its proper place in regard to sin is wrong it is often necessary, but for the most part, compassion is to uphold them before God in prayer that He would strengthen and uphold them and keep them safe from temptation.
I marvel how God takes our word and always gives us the benefit of the doubt. When we pray and tell Him that we are sorry for our sin and won’t do it again He treats us as though it was as good as done. He doesn’t wait a week to see if we really meant it before He blesses us for it, but rather, He immediately treats us as though we had never sinned and never would again and pours out his loving kindness upon us. We on the other hand, wait to see if the person really meant what they said, before we begin to trust them.
Ezekiel 33:13-16 says, “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in the same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. But when I say to the wicked, you will surely die, and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he will surly live; he shall not die. None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he will surely live.”
The essence of compassion is to think well of one another and to always assume that what they have done was with good intentions towards us. This also transfers to our relationship with God as He delays in His answers or allows us to go through tough times. We are to
assume the best motives behind it and that He has our best interests in mind in how He is dealing with us. He is faithful and loves us far more than we know because our human love is not nearly as deep as His love.
So let us pour out our compassion on others and pray for one another and uphold one another that we might all be found awake and ready at Jesus’ return.