We are literally surrounded by brokenness. People are hurting everywhere…some we know about and many we do not. Diseased, marginalized, oppressed, abused, heartbroken people all around us.
Compassion SHOULD be our heart's first response and most overwhelming emotion. As a matter of fact, Colossians 3:12 tells us to “put on compassion”…and Jesus models compassion every time He sees a hurting person or group of people (Matthew 9:36). His form of justice is about restoring people in whatever state He finds them.
Often, however, as we see hurting people our first response is to wonder how they got there. What did they do wrong to find themselves here? Whose fault is this? Jesus never looked at people that way (aren’t we glad He doesn’t look at us that way?). John gives an account of a teachable moment between Jesus and His disciples…
As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-2
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. John 9:3
Does it matter? Are we seriously going to analyze whether or not there were actions or circumstances that put a person in a certain situation, or are we going to see a need – as Jesus did – and meet the need? Are we aware that God is honored and glorified when His people respond in love and compassion, and minister to hurting people?
Jesus was crystal clear in His mandate in Matthew 25,
“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me…”
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”
The restoration and reconciliation of broken people is at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. Surely we won’t be a people who stop to wonder if they are worthy or not before we help? “…so that God’s work might be displayed.”
Prayer: Father, we are part of your strategy to minister to the broken in this world. May we step into those relationships with Your love and Your compassion. Amen.