A COMPASSIONATE SAVIOUR.
"But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." (Matthew 9: 36).
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A compelling story of compassion is recorded in Luke 7: 11-15. A large crowd had gathered at the gate of the city of Nain. The crowd size resembled that which could be seen in a political rally but it lacked the enthusiastic cheers a political rally would have; it had the free flow of tears and wailing instead. This was no celebration of some politician standing on a podium and rolling out his manifesto and wonderful promises, it was the mourning party of the demise of the only son of a widow. The atmosphere was overcome with sadness and grief. All the hopes that was left for a poor widow was about to be laid to rest. It could not be too difficult to spot this sorrow-laden woman among the crowd of family relations, friends, members of the community and sympathizers. Perhaps she must have held tightly to the Coffin and was being persuaded to let go, but how could she let go of her only son, though now a lifeless matter lying in that enclosure? She wept her eyes off and now she finally has to let go of the coffin, not willingly, but due to exhaustion and weakness occasioned by days of grief that afforded her no appetite for food. That was how bad the situation was until a man arrived, followed by some others from the city of Jerusalem.
He was passing by but took notice of this sorrowful woman, and He could not take off His eyes from her. He stopped, and turned from the path going down the city and made His way towards the weeping crowd and towards the coffin being carried by the undertakers for final procession. It does not appear anyone took notice of Him until He suddenly commands the undertakers to lower the coffin on the platform again, then suddenly a voice rings out from the weeping crowd, "It's Jesus, yes it's Him, it's the man from Galilee, the miracle worker!" Everywhere goes quiet now, and reluctantly the undertakers lower the coffin and set about opening up the enclosure as the man commanded. The woman rushes to the lifeless body of her son and once more lets out a loud yell, but the man turns to her and gently says "Do not weep", and then with a voice that roared like thunder, He spoke and said "Young man, I say to you, arise". All eyes peered eagerly at the coffin and there came sounds of movement in the coffin as the young man rose and sat up and is hugged tightly by his mother. O what shouts of joy filled the air. The hopeless, sorrow-stricken mourning party had now turned into a great celebrating party. Who else could dance more or sing louder than this woman whose son had just been resurrected?
This story in Luke 7:11-15 was just one of those occasions out of so many recorded in the Bible, where this man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, reached out to change lives out of His great compassion. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the compassionate Saviour, and while He was in the world, He healed many sick people, He restored strength to the limbs of lame men and they leaped and walked again. He touched the lepers and they were cleansed of their leprosy (Matthew 4: 24). For three and a half years of ministry, he took no vacations, except just sneaking away to the mountains to pray, but ministered to all who needed His help. Blind Bartimaeus' cry "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me" ( Mark 10: 46 - 52), touched His compassionate heart and he turned back and restored His sight. There is no record of anyone who called on Him and remained in his or her affliction and sorrow, their lives changed and their joys knew no bound. Check all through the Bible and you will see none he turned back and would not save (John 6: 37). In all He did, it was compassion that moved Him (Matthew 9: 36). He just could not bear to see His sons and daughters, His most priced possessions, suffering in the hands of the wicked one, Satan. He felt the grieve of those who mourned, the pains of those who suffered, the despair of those who were desperate, and He would not just leave them in their condition, but went out of His way to bring them a change.
It cost Him so much but He paid the price, even the ultimate price of laying down His life for you and me and all mankind who were under the horrible consequence of sin and thus were heading to eternal destruction with the devils. It was compassion that moved Him to die in our place. He could bear the pain of the nails that were hammered through his arms as He was crucified on the cross, because He would not bear to see us in the grievous agony of Hell. If not for compassion, would He put up with those who still mock Him today? Yet He does everything to save them, hoping that even if it was their last minute, they would recognize His love and surrender to His lordship. It is compassion that makes Him intercede for us continually before the Father in heaven (Romans 8:34). My dear friend, our Lord Jesus Christ is a compassionate Saviour and He is ready to help you today if you call on Him.
It was compassion for a lost and dying world that brought the Prince of Heaven, the only begotten Son of God to the world. He came to redeem the world from the captivity of Satan and terminate his wicked works in our lives. None else could save man, no sacrifices, no priests, no prophets, hence the sovereign one stepped in to save us. In Isaiah 63:5 we hear the Lord speaking, "I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own hand brought salvation;...). He Himself bore our grief and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, He took the chastisement that brought us peace. He took the stripes that secured our healing (Isaiah 53: 4-5). In all our affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved us; in His love and His pity (compassion) He redeemed us (Isaiah 63:9).
Dear friend, our Lord Jesus Christ is the only compassionate Saviour, and we must call on Him in any afflictions we may have. He is able to deliver and He is most willing to save. Are you in torment, sick in your body, burdened by trying situations, poverty and sorrows? Call on the compassionate Saviour and He will hear you and deliver you out of that condition and give you joy. Your situation may be hopeless and seem impossible like the situation of the widow of Nain whose only son was about to be buried, but as Jesus Christ appeared that day and took pity on her and brought her dead son back to life, so shall He intervene in your situation and save you, your children, your marriage, your job and even that business that has gone bankrupt and is folding up. All you need to do is to put your trust in Him and pray to God in His name. He will hear you and answer your prayers.
You may wonder if Jesus Christ can ever receive you, a sinner, because of the wicked things you had done, I want you to know that He is a compassionate Saviour, and He will in no way turn away any sinner that comes to Him, no matter how sinful he or she has been. He who dined with the cheats and those whom others rejected, and was known and called a "friend of sinners" (Matthew 11: 19, Luke 7:34), is still willing to save you as He saved these others, no matter your sins. He will wash you of the dirt of sin and make you a totally new person clothed with the splendid bright garment of righteousness. Come to Him in prayer and confess your sins to Him. Ask God to forgive you in the name of Jesus Christ. Resolve never to go back to sin and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to lead and direct you for the rest of your life. If you have situations in your life that make you cry, I want to assure you that as you commit your life to this compassionate Saviour, your situations will change and you shall have joy and gladness in Jesus Christ name. Amen. He is a compassionate Saviour. Yes, Jesus Christ is the compassionate Saviour!
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