“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,” Luke 10:33
I live 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 the 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, it is the “royal law” of love that wins out every single time (James 2:8). Thinking beyond oneself will go farther and make more of a difference in the world we live in. 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…” (Matthew 9:36). To the leper: “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him…” (Mark 1:41). To the mom who just lost her son: “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her…” (Luke 7:13). To the world: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” (Luke 22:42). To His enemies: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34).
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, the wounded man lying before him 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 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us…” (Eph. 4:32-5:2).
Followers of God are concerned with the person on the inside. A child 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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