The Compassion of Love

When people think of love, what comes to mind? One that strikes me is “Compassion” and I suppose in the teaching of Scripture that Jesus taught “Love your enemies”

We see him give a parable in the Gospels of the “Good Samaritan” and without knowing the history of this, Samaritans and Jews were enemies. So in the parable where the Samaritan had compassion on the man who fell into the hands of robbers and was beaten nearly to death- shows that the person who had compassion was someone who saw his enemy wounded and helpless on the ground.

Imagine a paradoxical and nearly contradictory set of emotions coinciding eith someone who treated you very bad, disowned you from their lives and treated you like dirt and then you find them beaten nearly to the point of death on the road. Are you moved to pity and compassion? Or do you say, “Serves them right.”

——On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:25-37

The Scripture says on many occassions “For the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”

That means as Jesus reiterates in his own word in his sermon on “Love your enemies” where he says

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35-36

Get that? “Ungrateful and the wicked”

And who is wicked? We are by nature in sin, and God has compassion on the sinner! He will judge the sinner who never repents but in his compassion he is grieved even over calamities of the wicked. Imagine this: Your own son, or daughter whom you love one day gets to an age they say “I hate you, cannot stand you, I wish you were dead, and get out of my life.” And suppose you knew they truly saw you this way? But years pass and you on a drive see them on the road, nearly dead and with bruises all over and compassion wells up and you are in pain from just seeing it. Now sinner maybe thats how you need to see God whos son he sent to take your place because he has compassion enough to not wany to watch you suffer for sin here or in eternity

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