Hello. I would like to draw your attention briefly to one of the saddest statements in scripture. It is found in Matthew 23:37-38: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Jesus was well aware of the background of the Jews. He knew of their lack of faith and obedience over their 15 centuries of being under the Law of Moses. He knew of their hypocrisy (for much of which he rebuked them in this chapter) that was without justice or mercy. He already knew that they would crucify him. Yet, for these sinners he had compassion. You will remember in our first lesson that we noted that compassion is an action word. It is having such pity and sympathy for a person that you do what you can to alleviate the need (1 John 3:17-18). Jesus felt that about these Jews. But they rejected his compassion. He had tried teaching them, reasoning with them, proving himself with the miraculous and pointing out that he fulfilled the prophetic scriptures concerning the Messiah. They would have none of it. His compassion led him to the cross for them, but they, for the most part, rejected that (Rom. 10:1-3).
There are a couple of lessons here that we need to learn. Sometimes, our compassionate acts will not be appreciated or effective. We cannot let that possibility stop us from trying to reach out to help. Unlike Jesus, we never know when we will have a far reaching effect on the lives of people. Jesus’ compassion was ultimately about the condition of people’s souls, not their bodies. We do our good works out of compassion primarily for the souls of people, not their physical condition. Some of these people did eventually become disciples and Christians. Our work in the world will always affect only the few. This made it worthwhile to Jesus and it is worthwhile for us. Let your light shine and we will let God bring the increase.
Compassion makes a difference. Let us not be weary in doing good.