“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion,” Luke 10:33
I live in a good distance from the church I attend which means lots of driving and observing time. Often times, on my way to church I look out my window and I stare. Some may think I’m being rude, but it’s the exact opposite. I look at that person sitting on the stoop or the one standing on the corner, and I wonder. I wonder about what they may have gone through that day. I wonder what it is that made that person look so sad. I wonder about the mom on the bus stop struggling to get stroller, baby, and bags onto the bus. I wonder.
How often have we really taken the time to see beyond the people to see the person, to really try to imagine you walking in the shoes of another? To see what’s going on inside the person without judging the outside? To show a tender heart instead of a wagging head, disapproving eyes and a simple tsk-tsk-tsk?
When it’s all said and done, “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” (James 2:13, NKJV). Thinking beyond oneself is going to win out hands down every single time. Why? Because, that’s what Christ did for us! He looked beyond Himself, beyond His own needs and hurts, and saw what the world needed. The world needed a Savior.
Even during His earthly ministry it has been noted in the Bible, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion,” (Mt. 9:36, NKJV). To the leper: “Then, Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him,” (Mk. 1:41, NKJV). To the mom who just lost her son: “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,” (Luke 7:13, NKJV). To the world: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42, NKJV). To His enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” (Luke 23:34, NKJV).
That’s how warm Jesus’ heart was toward people. He had a genuine concern to look at people from the inside out instead of the outside in. He saw the person beyond the people. So did the Good Samaritan. Despite the rejection and animosity he had faced down through the years at the hand of the Jews, this man needed his help. He was not going to let those years of bitterness or even indifference change his resolve to help the one that needed him now.
Paul taught the church in Ephesus to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us . . .,” (Eph. 4:32-5:2, NKJV).
Imitators of God are concerned with the person on the inside. An imitator of God is warmed to the plight of the human in humanity and sees them for who they are. They are someone that God is concerned enough about to allow His Son to die. Shouldn’t we then have that same compassion for one another?
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