Mark 1:41-44 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: ‘See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’
Some of us are not sure what we should do after we experience the compassion of Jesus Christ. I watched my colleague in ministry unable to pray because he was choked with tears standing on the dirt floor of the home that belonged to his sponsor child. We stood in an unspoken understanding of why he couldn’t speak. The Compassion of Jesus Christ manifested in that moment when we realized how blessed we were compared to how impoverished they were.
We just got back from Ghana where we seen the work of Compassion international; a Christian organization that helps rescue children out of poverty worldwide. As Africans in America we recognize what it is to struggle and how it feels to need compassion when you are poor and marginalized.
Jesus met a man who was marginalized and poor because he had leprosy. Nobody would touch him. He was doomed to die. He asked Jesus to have pity on him. He told Jesus, “you can help me if you want to!” I like that because in essence that is what every poor and marginalized person is saying to us as Christ’s disciples. “You can help me if you want to. We see people in need all the time whether in our community or abroad. We need to be like Jesus in this situation and be filled with something.
Jesus was filled with compassion: a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
Jesus did something dangerous and unorthodox. He touched this man with leprosy. This could have made him sick because leprosy was contagious. It could have disqualified him from priestly responsibilities because he touched something unclean. If we are going to show compassion we must take risks.
After we’ve benefitted from compassion we must do something
- Don’t talk about it be about it. Jesus told the man not to tell anyone that he had healed him. Jesus wanted the healing to be about God and not his own popularity. Often times after we have experienced a move of God we focus more on the messenger instead of the message. Jesus wanted the man to go show what God had done not so much tell.
- People need to see what God has done in your life. Your lifestyle should reflect God’s involvement in your life.
- Give an offering in thanksgiving for what God has done. When we give of our time, talent, or treasure it is because we are grateful for the compassion that God has shown us.
When I asked my colleague why he was overcome with tears when he prayed for his sponsor child he said, “I realized how good (compassionate) God has been to me and how much more (compassionate) I need to be for others.
What will you do with the compassion you’ve received?
I pray that you would help me to be extra sensitive to the people you want me to help today. Don’t let me pass people up that I have the power and resources to help. Thank you for touching me when I thought I was unlovable. Had it not been for your mercies I don’t know where I’d be. Now it’s time for me to go show compassion to others.
In Jesus Name,