Are we Pondering Our Compassionate Shepherd? Considering or Recognizing the ‘Reasonable’ Christian? Luke 7:13-14

Luke 7:11-17Amplified Bible

11 Soon afterward Jesus went to a city called Nain [near Nazareth], and His disciples and a large crowd accompanied Him. 12 Now as He approached the city gate, a dead man was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her [in the funeral procession]. 13 When the Lord saw her, He felt [great] compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 And He came up and touched the bier [on which the body rested], and the pallbearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise [from death]!” 15 The man who was dead sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 Fear and profound awe gripped them all, and they began glorifying and honoring and praising God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people [to help and care for and provide for them]!” 17 This news about Him spread through all of Judea and in all the surrounding countryside.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The divine image, which every single human being bears as a result of God’s indescribable and undeniable benevolence at creation, attracts us to the Divine.

Human beings are religious by nature and in order to fully realize themselves as human beings they have to be and live out the divine qualities instilled in each of them by the Creator of their Life, Author of their Life, Redeemer of their Life.

The opposite is often the case when human actions are critically evaluated.

One of the divine qualities, which we ought to acquire and practice in order to enhance good human relationship, is compassion.

This singular divine feature characterized Jesus earthly ministry in words and deeds.

In this Narrative text, the writer Luke, focuses on an episode in the life of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke 7: 11-17.

The man Rabbi Jesus walked into a dire situation, he had compassion on the widow who lost her only son; he consoled and restored her son back to her.

In following upon Jesus’ footsteps, demonstrating His radical counter-cultural compassion we can make our world better, be able to bear and live with others.

Instantly upon walking into this situation, Jesus made an instant assessment of all the other’s needs, Jesus’ heart went out to this woman who was left all alone.

While many rightfully, righteously grieved and mourned with her upon the loss of her only son, the man, Rabbi Jesus’ heart was touched, longed to comfort her.

His heart was full of indescribable and undeniable compassion.

He could say what no one else could say: “Don’t cry!” 

Most of us can only cry with those who have lost loved ones.

Only Jesus can wipe away our tears.

Jesus is touched by our loss, moved to compassion by our mortal limitations.

That’s why he came to earth.

We can be blessed and we can be assured He feels our losses in the same way.

Psalm 103:11-14English Standard Version

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;[a]
    he remembers that we are dust.

When we cry in grief, we do not cry alone.

The coming of the kingdom of God was not heralded by spectacular and dramatic victories over the powers and authorities of the world but through something much more transformative: the great compassion of its King.

Throughout their accounts of Jesus, the Gospel writers present us with encounter after encounter demonstrating Christ’s unparalleled compassion.

In these incidents, Christ’s power is revealed as His compassion is extended.

In chapter 7 of his Gospel, for instance,

Dr. Luke highlights Jesus’ compassionate response to a sorrowful widow—a response which hopefully, prayerfully, clears any doubts about His greatness.

The woman in this part of Luke’s narrative was in true need. Her husband was already gone, and now her son had just died.

In an ancient Middle-Eastern society, this meant that she had no means of protection or provision.

She faced a life of sadness, loneliness, and precariousness—and then the end of the family line.

But then Jesus entered into the extremity of this woman’s life, and “when the Lord saw her, instantly had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”

All it took to arouse the compassion of our tender Shepherd was seeing this grieving woman.

Literally, that word “compassion” means “His bowels moved”—our equivalent would be “His stomach churned.”

When Jesus, through whom and for whom all things were created, sees sadness and grief in this broken world, He feels it and He feels it DEEPLY!.

Here is a King who cares deeply.

Even more beautiful is that Jesus had the power to meet this widow’s need, and so He chose to do something only He could do: to bring the dead back to life.

He didn’t just restore a deceased son alive again to a mourning mother and thereby meet her need and obliterate her grief, though.

More importantly, Jesus revealed Himself to the crowd (and to us!) in all of His power, grace, mercy, lovingkindness, authority—even authority over death.

Scenes such as this show us that Jesus doesn’t simply comment on or cry over sickness and death, those great enemies of mankind.

He overcomes them.

He hears the cries of the sorrowful, He comforts them, not only in an earthly, temporal sense but also in a final, perfect, and eternal way, by offering Himself as the only true and genuine means of salvation to all who confess and believe.

Your King is not merely infinitely powerful; He is infinitely compassionate.

And note the combination of those two qualities in Him is sufficient to bring you through every single sadness and every single grief of this world, until you and I stand in His amazed presence and He wipes every last tear from our eyes.

Now, what should we say and how should be address, what should be connect others with about a “reasonable” human response to such a magnitude of love?

Philippians 4:4-7Amplified Bible

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Philippians 4:5 English Standard Version– THE REASONABLE CHRISTIAN

Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

“They will know you by your love.”

This saying is often used in the church as we talk of reaching others for Jesus.

This is taken from the famous verses in John 13:34-35.

A question we need to ask ourselves though is, “What does this love look like?”

It is reasonable for us to surmise that it can be helping those around us, giving of ourselves, our time, resources to the needy, or just lending an ear or lending our quieting presence to someone as they just “desire someone to be near by.”

But, what if showing love meant being a reasonable person?

The Greek word for “reasonable” can also be translated to the word “gentle” with its definition: seemly, equitable, yielding.

Does this sound like someone you have come to know an deeply trust?

Is this one person you claim to know and trust so thoroughly – actually YOU?

Aren’t we called to be strong in our stances and to not bend in what we believe?

The answer is yes!!

But we can do it in a reasonable manner.

Too many times Christians can be looked at as a hard headed, divisive group of bickering snarky people who want argue with everyone they don’t agree with.

You know, that guy or gal who wants to always argue, never compromising and is never wrong and who has about as much compassion, mercy and forgiveness as the specks of dust on top of their bookshelves loaded down with 1000 Bibles.

I know I am definitely guilty of being one of those people at times.

We are never going to change people by belittling their views and putting them down, never seeking to find, till, seed, that reasonable piece of common ground.

We are, however, definitely going to win them over with the same measure of love, uncompromising compassion Jesus revealed to everyone at that funeral when we reasonably meet their grief, and lovingly show them Christ’s mercy.

Our reasonable, unreasonable arguments don’t and won’t change reasonable or unreasonable people, the infinitely reasonable Jesus reasonably changes people.

Beloved Child of God, God has absolutely seen your tears.

He has absolute compassion on you.

He will absolutely and reasonably respond to your needs,

He will absolutely and reasonably help you,

He will absolutely and reasonably strengthen you.

He will absolutely change your dead situation to life and celebration!

Today ….

In this point of uncompromising fact, in this exact and exacting moment ….

In these coming days and weeks ahead, challenge yourself and someone else …

How has God, in Savior Christ Jesus, been reasonably compassionate with you?

How have you been a reasonably ‘reasonable’ compassionate Christian today?

Where have you been a reasonably ‘reasonable’ compassionate Christian today?

Were you a reasonably ‘reasonable’ compassionate Christian yesterday? Why Not?

Why were you a reasonably ‘reasonable’ compassionate Christian today?

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us gather as reasonable Christians and Let us together Pray ….

God of the Helpless, I know that You want Your children to show compassion for those less fortunate. I know this, but I have failed to help others as You would like me to. I know there are so many in need of kindness, Lord. Please open my heart and fill it with Your compassion for Your creation. Please guide me on how I should reach out to each of my neighbors, as Jesus did for the widow and that grieving and mourning community at that funeral and live love for the less fortunate for Your glory. Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: