“29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Traditionally, compassion is categorized as a noun; it is a thing an idea. But today’s scripture makes me think of compassion more as a verb. Compassion is more than a concept, it is an action; something that must be shown. Besides, how can we know someone is compassionate unless they show it? Here, we see a stranger who had a hard life. This man had been beaten and robbed and left on the side of the road to die. It appears as though he had no friends, no relatives or anyone that cared about him. Even the priest and Levite cantered to the other side of the road so as to not be inconvenienced by this hurting man. But there was a Samaritan, the good ‘ol Samaritan, who thought it not robbery to stop what he was doing that day, pause where he was going and to intentionally inconvenience himself to provide aid to this man in need, all in the name of compassion. You see compassion compels you to act. It is physically impossible to have compassion and to do nothing about the issue; that is just called pity. There is always something that we all can do. I’m not suggesting that it will be easy or convenient or even something we planned to do, but Jesus tells us that the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few meaning that there is always something that can be done. In order to make this world a better place, we need to be compassionate. We must step into the shoes of the other person and make our neighbors problems our problems. After all, are we all not a part of each other as the body of Christ? I wonder where compassion will lead us today.
Lord, you have brought us all from a mighty long way. We are not the people we used to be and are constantly growing and that is solely because You showed us compassion. You looked down from Heaven and saw a struggling people. You saw us struggling to get it right, struggling to live righteously and struggling to love You wholly. But because You are a compassionate God You sent Your Son to die for us that we may be filled with compassion also. Lord, compassion is contagious and as it pours out from Your heart help us to pass it to one another. God thank You for compassion and help us to be a community of compassionate people.
*Praying in your own words, ask God how He can use compassion in your life to bless others and to reveal to you ways in which you can grow in compassion.*