Jesus: The Compassionate Savior
Every once in a while you get an email that makes your heart stop for a second. You take a deep breath, say a quick prayer and read it again to make sure you were’t just imagining things.
A few weeks ago I got one of these messages from my Lead Pastor. “Hi Brenton. Would you be able to cover the Sunday pulpit for me?” Now I’ve taught before. I spent years teaching every week in student ministry. I’ve taught for conferences and even a Wednesday and Sunday night service. I like teaching. But this was different.
We have four services on Sunday. From early in the morning until the late evening. Each one has a unique make up of people. Each one is quite a bit different. It’s unpredictable, challenging and exhausting on so may levels. On top of that I was going out of town the entire week before.
By the grace of God and the power of His Spirit I made it through! I enjoyed it a ton and it gave me a renewed love for our church family. Here's a brief overview of what I taught. I hope it encourages you today.
I had it on my heart to teach on the compassion of Christ. While reading through the book of Luke I was overwhelmed by the absolute compassion Jesus demonstrates. In Chapters 7 & 8 we find four stories of people who are at such extremes of the human experience.
Luke 7:1-10 // The Centurion
This man pursued Jesus. He was a foreigner to Jesus’ culture but was full of faith.
Jesus had compassion on him and healed his dying servant.
Luke 7:11-17 // The Widow
This woman, unlike the centurion did not pursue Jesus but was indifferent towards Him. She had lost everything. Her husband was dead and now her only son had just died. She was not full of faith but full of grief.
Jesus had compassion on her and raised her dead son back to life.
Luke 7:36-50 // The Sinful Woman
This woman humbly approaches Jesus while he was dining at the home of Simon, a Pharisee. The pharisee and Jesus both describe her as a sinner. She was most likely a prostitute and a religious disgrace in her community. Simon wanted to reject her but Jesus receives her.
Jesus had compassion on her and forgave her sins and gave her peace.
Luke 8:26-39 // The Possessed Man
This man had been banished from his community. He was filed with evil spirits and living alone on the outskirts of town. Unlike the centurion who pursued Jesus or even the widow who was indifferent towards him this man was filled with evil and the spirits within him absolutely hated Jesus. Incredibly Jesus has compassion even for him. He peers through the darkness and sees a lost soul. A child of God.
Jesus had compassion on him and cleansed him.
What does this mean for us?
Are you like the centurion? Full of faith and pursuing Jesus? Believe that God honors that. He can do incredible things through the life of faith. Keep pursuing Him.
Are you like the widow? Full grief and numbly indifferent towards Jesus? He can reach out and, like the widow’s son, touch things in your life you thought would be dead forever. Bringing them back to life.
Are you like the sinful woman? Never think you have fallen too far to receive the love and forgiveness of Christ. He bore your very sins upon Himself on the cross. Receive His forgiveness and more forward in peace!
Maybe you’re like the possessed man. Full of evil. Far from Jesus. Know that God has not given up on you. He wants to come in and cleanse you. Restore you. Make you whole.
Experiencing the compassion of Jesus on our life is just one more reason to pour out our praise to Him. To live for Him wholeheartedly.
If you’d like to hear my full teaching you can watch it here.
Podcast here. (June 5, 2016)