Have you ever caught yourself looking right through something only to be startled by something else in your surroundings? This happens to me often when sitting in traffic or looking out a window into the yard. Ultimately a car horn or my wife’s voice brings me back to reality. Then I realize I was not really looking at anything. I was looking through it.
The Bible says numerous times in the Gospels that Jesus looked at the crowds or a person and had compassion. Jesus could not have had compassion on people if He had been looking through them; He was looking at them.
The most well-known story of compassion Jesus told is the story of the good Samaritan. In Luke 10 we are told a traveler was beaten and robbed while on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Two of his own people—Jewish folks—passed by without lending aid. These two were religious leaders!
Sometime after the assault, another traveler stopped to give him aid. The helper is identified as a Samaritan, a man of mixed heritage whom the Jews despised. He anointed and bound the hurt man’s wounds, took him to a place to stay, and made arrangements to cover his expenses. From this Samaritan we learn the costs of compassion. Usually the investment involves time, energy, and often finances.
This is Christ’s example of one person having compassion on another. Compassion is preceded by seeing people as God sees. We cannot live our lives looking through the people for whom Christ died. We must look at them with the eyes of Christ, determined to demonstrate His compassion whatever the time, energy, or financial cost.
Your can order The Gospel Project for adults, students or children on LifeWay.com. Here’s where you can read my early review of The Gospel Project curriculum.