Jesus said believers are to be compassionate just as God is compassionate.
Sounds simple enough, right?
How many of us are living that way, though? God’s compassion—here the meaning is ‘merciful’—provided the required sacrifice for our sinful rebellion against Him. He chose to die for us to pay the debt we could not so that we could be with Him forever. Compassion.
His mercy gives us His Spirit to live within us so that we have continual, constant guidance, understanding, and needed rebuke as we go through life.
The requirement for the erasure of our sins has not changed over all of time. It is still a death. Before Christ, a substitution was accepted to make people holy before God, but that was not enough to last a lifetime. It waned as people continued in sin.
God provided that final substitution for our death: Jesus. Since that world-rocking event, we don’t have to give those daily, weekly, monthly, and annual sacrifices to make us holy. Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross did that for us.
Knowing that’s what was coming, Jesus challenged believers to have that sort of mercy and compassion on people. He knew His followers would be persecuted, betrayed, lied about, killed, hunted, hurt—physically and emotionally. Yet He told them to have the same sort of compassion for those offenders as He did them.
Whoa. Wait. No, no, no, no.
I’m not going to be merciful and compassionate to the bully that treated me like I was his personal chew toy.
I’m not going to be merciful and compassionate to that one who said he would stand up for me then wouldn’t believe me when I told the truth.
I’m not going to be compassionate to the one who tried to strangle me.
God expects our obedience. Jesus said our love for Him is shown through our obedience to His commands.
By the way, when we look at the Greek, we see there’s a difference between the “is” that talks about us and the “is” that talks about God.
Allow me to paraphrase, “Believer, keep working at becoming compassionate and merciful, in the same way your Heavenly Father has always existed as love, compassion, and mercy.”
Until that time when we live with Him, we won’t be quite as compassionate and merciful as God, but we have a goal to strive for, and we need to be working hard toward it. Let’s start today.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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