SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 201307047: "Jesus' Gospel of Compassion"

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Jesus’ gospel of compassion
Have you ever become “weary in well-doing?” In many circles it is called “compassion fatigue.” You lose your tears when dealing with those who have lost their way. Paul encourages us in Galatians 6:10,
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
The problem of our age is indifference. Kitty Genovese had a huge taste of indifference back in 1964:
“The Murder of Kitty Genovese"

“At approximately 3:20 on the morning of March 13, 1964, twenty-eight-year-old …(Kitty) Genovese was returning to her home in a nice middle-class area of Queens, NY….
She parked her ….(car) in a nearby parking lot, turned-off the lights and started the walk to her second floor apartment some 35 yards away.
She got as far as a streetlight when a man grabbed her.
She screamed. Lights went on in the 10-floor apartment building nearby. She yelled,
"Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me!"
Windows opened in the apartment building and a man’s voice shouted,
"Let that girl alone."
The attacker looked up, shrugged and walked-off down the street. Ms Genovese struggled to get to her feet.
Lights went back off in the apartments.
The attacker came back and stabbed her again. She again cried out, "I’m dying! I’m dying!"
And again the lights came on and windows opened in many of the nearby apartments.
The assailant again left and got into his car and drove away.
Ms Genovese staggered to her feet as a city bus drove by.
It was now 3:35 a.m.
The attacker returned once again.
He found her in a doorway at the foot of the stairs and he stabbed her a third time -- this time with a fatal consequence.
It was 3:50 when the police received the first call.
They responded quickly and within two minutes were at the scene. Ms Genovese was already dead…. "
 [THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 27, 1964, p. 38.]
Kitty Genovese … was a name that would become symbolic in the public mind for a dark side of the national character. It would stand for Americans who were too indifferent or too frightened or too alienated or too self-absorbed to “get involved’’ in helping a fellow human being in dire trouble. …Detectives investigating … the murder discovered that no fewer than 38 of her neighbors had witnessed at least one of her killer’s three attacks but had neither come to her aid nor called the police. The one call made to the police came after Genovese was already dead….
[Long Island Our Story by Michael Dorman. www.lihistory.com/8/hs818a]

National Nihilism – Curse of Meaninglessness
Frederick Nietzsche




July 7, 2013 – Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland

Jesus’ gospel of compassion
LUKE 10:25-37 – LUKE 14:1-4
“Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan is more than a ‘feel good’ story with a happy ending. The actual lesson Jesus teaches here is in the middle of the parable. It is the Samaritan’s compassion Jesus is extolling. In helping the poor, can we do less?”    Pastor Phil  <><<

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.”   Luke 10:33


 “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

There is a road that goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho.  It is 17 miles long and drops about 3,000 feet in those 17 miles.  It has long been a hazardous trip due to thieves and robbers.
Jesus intentionally leaves the man undescribed.  The audience, being Jewish, would naturally assume that he was a Jew.  Being in this half dead state he would be unconscious.
Since he is stripped, he then is unidentifiable.  Historically, a person can be identified in one of two ways: his dress and his speech, i.e. dialect.  The man is any person: void of ethnic background, void of stature, void of position


Luke 14:1-4
14 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things.



Since, he moves to the other side, probably the priest did not actually see it happen.  How can he be sure the wounded man is a neighbor since he cannot be identified?  If the person lying there is a non Jew the priest could be risking defilement, especially if the person were actually dead.  If he defiles himself he can not collect, distribute, and eat tithes.  His family and servants will suffer the consequences with him. 

Priests were supposed to be ritually clean, exemplars of the law.  There would be immediate shame and embarrassment suffered by them at the expense of the people and their peers for such defilement.  Having just completed his mandatory two weeks of service, he would then need to return and stand at the Eastern Gate along with the rest of the unclean.  Furthermore, in addition to the humiliation involved, the process of restoring ritual purity was time consuming and costly.  It required finding, buying, and reducing a red heifer to ashes, and the ritual took a full week.  The priest is in a predicament.  Moreover, he cannot approach closer than four cubits to a dead man without being defiled, and he will have to overstep that boundary just to ascertain the condition of the wounded man.

The Samaritans were a mixed race between the Jews of captivity and the Samaritan people of the land they were captive in.  The relationship between the Jews and Samaritans was one of hostility because of some bad things that happened in the past.  According to the Mishna, "He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like to one that eats the flesh of swine" (Mishna Shebiith 8:10).  The Mishna is the oral traditions that developed about the law, containing interpretations and applications to specific questions which the law deals with only in principle.  Specifically, it is the collection of these traditions.

The Samaritan is not a gentile.  He is bound by the same law as the Jews.  The Samaritan would not be naturally from that area, so the half dead man would certainly not qualify as his neighbor.

The robbers hurt the man by violence, the Priest and Levite, by neglect.  All three are guilty.  "To the one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin," (James 4:17).
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Luke 10:25-37; Deut 30:9-14, or
Good Samaritan
What must I do to Inherit eternal life?
Hear and Do
Luke 10:27 (NIV)
27 He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Who is my neighbor?
Parable of the Good Samaritan
Hear and Do


Luke 10: 25-37 NKJV
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’
28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[c] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


Bear one another burdens
Galatians 6:2
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Luke 10:33
COMPASSION – Greek:“SPLACHNON”- “To be filled with pity”
Only refers to the compassion of “Ya-Shuah” in the NT
This word isn’t just a description of unease or emotional discomfort.  This word means a deep and gut-wrenching emotional tidal wave, a complete identification with another and a tragic rage over injustice, a rage that is expressed in weeping collapse.  “How could something like this happen?”  “What kind of men would do such a thing?”  “What is this world like that such injustice and disregard for life can occur?”
Have you felt this emotional tsunami?  Have you witnessed such inhumanity that it made you stagger, unhinged from rational control?  Have you identified with someone else to the point of experiencing their pain?  If you have, you have come very close to God.
The point of the story is the need for compassion, the need for gut-wrenching identification with another.  Becoming a neighbor begins with compassionate identification.
In Hebrew, the word for compassion is raham.  The verb means both “to exhibit mercy” and “to find mercy” (another example of the continuity of Hebrew verbal actions).  It expresses the same deep emotional involvement with the suffering.  But perhaps most importantly, this Hebrew word has a homophone that really displays its emotional connection.  You see, raham also means “womb.”  In Hebrew, nothing expresses compassion more fully than the care a mother feels for her unborn child.  And nothing expresses more fully the need for compassion than that child, totally dependent in every sense on the care of the mother.  God is the God of the womb, the God of unmitigated compassion, the God whose care and concern governs our every breath.  Life itself depends on Him.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is much more than a story about being a neighbor.  In the middle, we find the end.  Those compassionate ones are true neighbors.

Compassion came to where he was
Compassion saw him
Compassion took pity on him / he had compassion v.33b
Compassion went to him
Compassion bandaged his wounds
Compassion poured in the oil and the wine
Compassion put the man on his own donkey
Compassion took him to an Inn and took care of him
Compassion took responsibility for his needs while healing

Compassion feels something!
Compassion does something!

Five acts of compassion: (Verse 32-

Deuteronomy 30:8-14 (NIV)
8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today.
9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers,
10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.
12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"
13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"
14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.



St. Teresa of Avila
 “Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”


C                              G 
G             C                               F      C 
C                       G             C
He Poured In the Oil
and the Wine
He poured in the oil and the wine
The kind that restoreth my soul
          D            D/F#
He saw me bleeding and dying
       G       D
On the Jericho Road
                      A           D G D
When He poured in the oil and the wine



A heavily booked commercial flight out of Denver was canceled, and a single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the front and slapped his ticket down on the counter. "I have to be on this flight and it has to be first class!" he insisted. "I’m sorry, sir," the agent replied. "I’ll be happy to help you, but I have to take care of these folks first." The passenger was unimpressed. "Do you have any idea who I am?" he demanded in a voice loud enough for the passengers behind him to hear. Without hesitating, the agent smiled and picked up her public-address microphone. "May I have your attention, please?" she broadcast throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate." As the man retreated, the people in the terminal burst into applause.


Shortly after coming to Christ, Sadhu Sundar, a Hindu convert to Christ, felt called to become a missionary to India. Late one afternoon Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk. It was bitterly cold and the wind felt like sharp blades slicing into Sadhu's skin. Night was approaching fast when the monk warned Sadhu that they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.

Just as they were traversing a narrow path above a steep cliff, they heard a cry for help. Down the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, "Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself." The he quickly added while walking on, "Let us hurry on before we , too, perish."
But Sadhu replied, "God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him."

The monk continued trudging off through the whirling snow, while the missionary clambered down the steep embankment. The man's leg was broken and he could not walk. So Sadhu took his blanket and made a sling of it and tied the man on his back. Then, bending under his burden, he began a body-torturing climb. By the time he reached the narrow path again, he was drenched in perspiration.

Doggedly, he made his way through the deepening snow and darkness. It was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered, though faint with fatigue and overheated from exertion. Finally he saw ahead the lights of the monastery.
Then, for the first time, Sadhu stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over an object lying in the snow-covered road. Slowly he bent down on one knee and brushed the snow off the object. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.

Years later a disciple of Sadhu's asked him, "What is life's most difficult task?"

Without hesitation Sadhu replied: "To have no burden to carry."