Kindness & compassionate love

~ Ian Maclaren ~

~ Ian Maclaren ~

“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”  And he (the certain lawyer) said, “He that shewed mercy on him.”  Then said Jesus unto him, “Go, and do thou likewise.”  Luke 10:30-37

“A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” And he divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son…”  But the father said to his servants, “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” ”   Parable told by Jesus in Luke 15:11-24

Consider the compassionate kindness of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ:

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  … according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…” Titus 3:3-6

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”  Joel 2:12-13

“And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, “If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.”  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, “I will; be thou clean.” ”  Mark 1:40-41

See also Isaiah 54:8, Jeremiah 31:3, Jeremiah 32:18, Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 15:32, Matthew 20:34, Psalm 143:8.

How do we compare to Jesus’ compassionate kindness?  Most often, somebody first has to get hurt (sometimes not even by ourselves), tears has to flow, sickness must come, before we start showing compassion toward others.  Even though it is good to be compassionate and kind toward the sick, those with heartache, and those going through difficulties, it is a fact that we do not always see other people’s battles.  Some battles are fought privately in one’s heart or mind, and it is obvious that we have no idea what battles strangers fight.  How kind are we toward the cashier at the supermarket (or the person packing our goods in plastic bags)?  Or toward the administrator at the bank when we’ve stood in a long queue?  Or with the car guard, the person who sells newspapers on the corner, or even the girl who sells her body for an income…?   (Luke 7:37-50)  Jesus showed compassion toward everybody, and so should we.  Had we known their battles, surely we would have more compassion, kindness, and maybe even a sincere smile for them.

What if we’ve been hurt?  Often in the Word of God “kindness” (or “lovingkindness”) goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness.  Jesus set the perfect example:  “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him…  Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” ”  (Luke 23:33-34)  Peter also encouraged the believers to “be… kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)  See also Colossians 3:12-15, 2 Peter 1:5-7.

May Jesus Christ make us more into His Nature (John 3:30), that we can be “having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”  (1 Peter 3:8).  May we “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another,” (Romans 12:10) to bring God all the glory.

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