Moved With Compassion
What is it that moves you with compassion? What motivates you enough to see God do something great through you? What do you feel creates a motion that motivates you toward action? When we’re moved enough to try something new, create something different, to be compassionate about something that we feel needs to change, why is it that fear suddenly rears its ugly head? When fear strikes its venom into our thinking, instead of moving toward compassion we tend to shrink back, hesitate, and move away from it, allowing the whispered mutterings of our enemy to circle through and into our worried thoughts. So, you hit the pause button and put a cap on all that kindness, empathy, and compassion enthusiastically bubbling up on the inside of you to help others because you’ve believed the lie that you’re just not enough.
In Luke 10: 29-35, a religious scholar asks Jesus the question of who is his neighbour. Jesus replies with the parable of the good Samaritan where two religious’ people, a Jewish priest and a Levite walked straight by a Jewish man who had been robbed, stripped of his clothes, and severely beaten, leaving him half dead. “…a Samaritan, came upon the bleeding man and was moved with tender compassion for him. He stooped down and gave him first aid, pouring olive oil on his wounds, disinfecting them with wine, and bandaging them to stop the bleeding. Lifting him up, he placed him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn…Take care of him until I come back from my journey. If it costs more than this, I will repay you when I return”
In biblical times, no love was lost between Jews and Samaritans, and this was the whole point of the parable. Jesus answered the religious scholar’s question by showing him who his neighbour was and what compassion truly looks like. There is always a cost, an exchange when we feel moved with compassion to step out of the box, create something different, to be passionate about something that we feel needs to change. And this is the reason we hesitate, dither, pause and falter as our spiralling, fearful thoughts keep us guessing and wondering if we really want to count the cost that compassion demands if we truly have what it takes to help others.
In Matthew 9:36, ‘Jesus saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd.’ Jesus knew those same crowds who had moved Him with compassion would not be moved with compassion for Him when He took His final breath. And this is where the rubber hits the Golgotha road. A lack of compassion from the crowd never stopped the motion of movement toward the cross. Like the parable of the good Samaritan, when religion walks by because it’s too high of a price to move with compassion to help a neighbour, Jesus says, “I’ll take it from here.” His move toward compassion never wavered when ‘He went – oh so quietly, oh so willingly…Even though He did no wrong by word or deed.’
(Isaiah 53:7-9 The Voice Translation)
When we’re moved with compassion, hesitation must bow its knee and surrender. Even Jesus had a moment of hesitation while in the garden of Gethsemane. A slight pause so He could wrestle with fear and hesitation, “Please take this cup away so I don’t have to drink from it.” Compassion moves in a forward motion but hesitation pulls back, recoils, and shrinks so the very thing that needs us to move with compassion stays hidden in the shadows never seeing the light of change. “But whatever happens, let Your will be done – not Mine.” Jesus knew what needed to be done and hesitation had to move out of the way of the Way so Jesus could continue to move toward the cross for our salvation.
His sacrifice on the cross was fulfilled because He was moved with compassion. But it was His compassion that has moved us toward change. To stop going our own way and follow the Way. Jesus’ sacrifice moves us to compassion when we see the crowds, the ones who wander like sheep without a shepherd while wondering who will move with compassion to help them.
So, when fear strikes its venom into our thinking, when hesitation keeps us shrinking back from our move toward compassion, causing us to hit the pause button and put a cap on all our kindness, empathy, and compassion that enthusiastically bubbles up on the inside of us to help others, believe that you, yes YOU, are enough to make a change!
What moves you with compassion?
Thank you Jesus that you were moved with so much compassion that You chose to sacrifice Yourself for me so I could have the free gift of salvation. Thank you that Your compassion moves me with compassion to help others. Amen.