|Vol. 13 No. 9 September 2011||
Near the conclusion of Jesus’ address to the multitudes in His Sermon on the Mount, He declared, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). This is a passage that must be embedded in our minds. We should not live a day without pondering its meaning and significance to our lives and others around us.
The term “Lord” is translated from a word in the Koine Greek, kurios, which, according to Strong, is the title of one who is “supreme in authority, that is controller.” Thayer adds that the title is one “of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master.”
Jesus came to this earth, in part, to bring the message of God’s will to all of humanity so we would not live and die in ignorance. In His prayer to the Father, Jesus said, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me…” (John 17:8). God no longer winks at ignorance, but commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
Saul of Tarsus asked the right question when he made the query of Jesus, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). A man demonstrating great wisdom, Saul, did as the Lord told him to do. He went into the city of Damascus and waited for Ananias. Saul was ultimately forgiven of his past sins when he was washed in the blood of Christ upon obeying the voice of God’s messenger, Ananias (Acts 22:16).
Jesus does not want to hear an empty profession. Could Jesus ask you and me the same question He asked some of His day? “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Luke 6:46)?
Fred C. Nowell Jr.
Throughout our lives, there have been things that have touched us in ways that would move us to action. Some things would cause such a stir within that we would give of ourselves, our means even our hearts having a strong and sincere compassion. Though misleading, deception, lies (however one chooses to dress up sinful behavior) have caused the hearts of many to harden, there are still times (even for them) that brings a tear or stillness inside that brings us closer to the way Jesus was so many times with those around Him.
Jesus emptied Himself and put on flesh and lived with a fleshly body like you and me (Philippians 2:7ff). Though He lived a sinless life, He “was in all points tempted like as we are…” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus knows all about our struggles, and He understands and is moved when we hurt and when we have need. As our Lord walked about this world, seeking and saving the lost, He would often be “moved with compassion.” Our Lord is a compassionate Lord. Our understanding of compassion is often different from what it ought to be. The word most often translated as our English word compassion is a word that means “to have the bowels yearn, feel sympathy, to pity” (according to James Strong). The “bowels” of man is a deep, inward affection. It is that feeling deep inside that moves us to action.
As Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38), He often had multitudes of people following Him – not always for the right reason, much like today. In Matthew 9:36, when Jesus “saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Inspiration paints a picture that those of the first century would have fully understood. A shepherd “leads” sheep; they do not “push” them. If sheep had no shepherd to lead them, they would wander each their own way, ultimately falling prey to wolves and the like. The compassion Jesus had for the people was the same. It is a pitiful sight for our Lord to see those wondering in the world, as lost sheep. His compassion moved Him to care for them as best He could. Jesus is the “good shepherd” (John 10:11ff.), but He did not and does not demand any to follow him.
As Christians, disciples of Jesus, we are to have the same compassion for others that He had. Jesus’ compassion moved Him to feed, heal, make see, cleanse and bring to life and ultimately, reward. This kind of compassion needs to be in the lives of those that wear His name. Christians have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27), and we are to imitate Him to the best of our abilities.
We are to have a moving compassion, motivated by love (agape) even for those against us (Matthew 5:44). Our compassion is to be the same as it was for the Samaritan who was moved to help when he had opportunity to do so (Luke 10:33; Galatians 6:10). When it comes to brethren (the church), we are to have a deep compassion for each other (1 Peter 3:8). John says “whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17).
Let us collectively focus on compassion. Not only during the times of the year when many do, but rather let us continue to have the same mind as our Lord in every way. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 21-22).