Your Neighbor Needs What You Have
Compassion – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:35-38
Key Verse: Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus told the “expert” in the Law the story of the Good Samaritan, he was letting this expert know he had what was needed to get into God’s kingdom. Jesus was telling this Jewish leader to simply show some compassion. The Greek word Jesus used for compassion was a long word with a short meaning: splagehnizomai, which means pity. We might use the word to say: “Take pity on the man.”
Today, each one of us will have what our “neighbor” needs. Our “neighbor” is a person who we see that needs pity. You may know their name or they may be a complete stranger, but they need compassion. You can make a decision to walk on by without taking pity or you can show them compassion.
The expert in the Law that was trying to debate Jesus on who a neighbor was had probably done what the priest and Levite did in Jesus’ story. The story undoubtedly stung him and reminded him of how he had walked past people that needed compassion. This story of Jesus probably reminded him that he had shown no compassion to the hurting people around him.
Maybe the story would do the same thing to us. Maybe we missed an opportunity recently to take pity! (Continued)
Father, I pray that you would remind me to open my eyes to people that are quietly hurting today. Help me to offer them compassion. In Jesus’ name, amen.