Archive for May 17th, 2008

The Power of Compassion

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 7:11-17 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Compassion is the driving force behind what happened here, isn’t it? Imagine the sight of this weeping woman in the grips of grief, already without a husband, accompanying her dead son as he is being taken out of the town gate. On top of the staggering emotional blow, this woman must have faced the grim financial prospects that most widows did,* especially without any sons to help her. So Jesus was moved with compassion and into action, and then the miracle happened — her son was no longer dead, but alive!

Psalms 103:13-14 says, “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we are made; he remembers that we are dust.” A brand-new father once told me that he saw what grace is all about as he watched his newborn daughter sleeping peacefully in his wife’s arms. I think he was talking about the enormously strong bond of love, compassion, and grace he already had for his child.

God has a similar, yet even greater love and compassion for us, and I think it can especially be seen for those who are sick, in pain, or struggling under other heavy burdens (Matthew 11:28). God sees us struggling away in our finite bodies and limited understanding — sometimes even dealing with heartbreak as big as the widow who lost her only son. And God is patiently waiting for us to enter into relationship, so we can realize just how much God loves us, and how powerful that can impact our lives.

Thought for the day: Ephesians 5:1 exhorts us to be imitators of God. Lord, help me to walk in your footsteps of loving, powerful compassion toward others today.

*page 29 of The Children Are Free tells how vulnerable widows were in the Old Testament times, as context of the Ruth and Naomi story. I assume that New Testament times were similar in this regard.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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