If I were to chose one word that describes Jesus for this week’s reading I would say compassion. Throughout these three chapters Jesus has compassion on those who are broken, despised by the community and in harms way for telling the truth. So what does this say to us?
The first couple of stories are about being tested. The religious traditionalists challenge Jesus. They cite the law and Jesus expands the law. A Jew was not supposed to work on the Sabbath but Jesus proclaimed the greater good of human dignity. Maybe the crux of the whole segment is found in chapter 6:41; why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
I have a theory about human pain. The theory is, people in pain cause pain. Holding the pain does not excuse the pain that is delivered, but it may explain why a person did what he/she did. And knowing the source may allow us to begin a conversation on a completely different level. It makes sense. I came to this understanding years ago when I realized how much Christ had done in my life when I didn’t deserve such grace. Once I began to receive this grace I was propelled to act likewise. It was this experience that drew me closer to Jesus who forgives and heals. It allows Jesus to do more with me than ever before. It was the kindness of this Galilean that made me thirst for knowledge of who Jesus is. My pain was substituted with Love, which triggered love within me.
What does the word compassion mean to you? How can you receive the compassion Jesus desires to give you? In a world that longs for compassion, how can you return compassion to God’s creation?