Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. — Luke 3:11 NIV
Human hurt is not easy on the eyes. Yet there is something fundamentally good about taking time to see a person.
Simon the Pharisee once disdained Jesus’ kindness toward a woman of questionable character. So Jesus tested him:
Do you see this woman? — Luke 7:44, emphasis mine
Simon didn’t. He saw a hussy, a streetwalker, a scamp. What do we see when we see…
- the figures beneath the overpass, encircling the fire in a fifty-five-gallon drum?
- the news clips of children in refugee camps?
- the reports of grueling poverty at home and abroad?
When [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them. — Matthew 9:36
This word compassion is one of the oddest in Scripture. The New Testament Greek lexicon says this word means “to be moved as to one’s bowel… (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).”1 Compassion, then, is a movement deep within — a kick in the gut.
Perhaps that is why we turn away. Why look suffering in the face if we can’t make a difference? Yet what if by seeing, we were moved to compassion? Moved not just to see, but to do.
~ Outlive Your Life
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. — Luke 4:18
The day was special. Jesus was in town. The people asked Him to read Scripture, and He accepted. Shuffling the scroll toward the end, He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.”
Jesus had a target audience. The poor. The brokenhearted. “This is My mission statement,” Jesus declared. The Nazareth Manifesto.
Shouldn’t it be ours too? Shouldn’t our manifesto look something like this:
- Let the church act on behalf of the poor. The ultimate solution to poverty is found in the compassion of God’s people.
- Let the brightest among us direct us. “Poverty,” as Rich Stearns, president of World Vision in the United States, told me, “is rocket science.” Simple solutions simply don’t exist. We need our brightest and best to tackle it.
- Get ticked off. Riled up enough to respond. Poverty is not the lack of charity but the lack of justice. Righteous anger would do a world of good.
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. So get out of your comfort zone for Christ’s sake. Get ticked off. Do something!
~ Outlive Your Life
- James Strong, New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996), s.v. “Compassion.”
Excerpted with permission from God Is With You Every Day by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
* * *
What are you moved about? What issue grinds you to respond due to right the injustice, work towards a solution, or bring aid? Let’s make the Nazareth Manifesto ours, too, and do something about it! Come share what you’re doing today to help! We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full