Summary: A sermon for the 4th Sunday after pentecost Proper 6 The compassion of Jesus
4th Sunday after Pentecost
A compassionate God equals A compassionate Believer
""When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36, RSV.
"And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ’The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay." Matthew 10:1-8, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the compassionate Christ. Amen
The a verse from our gospel lesson this morning speaks volumes about who God, and Christ are.
God is a God who creates, a God who rules, a God who is so holy that one dare not come into His presence.
But at the same, God is a God who is compassionate, caring for His creation, caring for us.
As it says in the Psalms
Psalm 135:14 For the LORD will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.
And it says in Isaiah
Isaiah 49:13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.
Compassion is simply understanding someone’s deepest needs together with a desire to do something about it. It is always directed at something or someone, and God is compassionate toward all of us. 1
Compassion is an action. God saw that we needed compassion after the fall way back in Genesis he began planning for His ultimate act of compassion by sending Jesus to earth.
A well known Bible verse says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16, RSV.
Just as God is compassionate toward His children, Jesus came to earth to show that compassion in a human form.
Our text says "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Jesus saw that the people were helpless, they were like sheep without a shepherd so He had compassion on them.
All through His ministry, Jesus showed the compassion of God through His works of healing, feeding the hungry, and saving the lost souls.
Jesus looked at the whole person, saw the need and did something about it. He acted. If a person was hungry, He gave them food, if a person was sick, He reached out a healing hand, if a person was in need of forgiveness, He touched that person with His mercy.
When Christ had compassion on the crowds, He was in a sense, in all reality, showing the people, showing us what it means that God loves us. As He healed, as He forgave sins, as He brought people together, as He made especially women feel part of God’s created order, He showed us and them God’s love.
Jesus is the one who shows us very dramatically what God’s love is like. It is a forgiving, accepting, caring, merciful, compassionate love. It is a love which allowed God’s only son to be killed on a cross so that you and I might have eternal life. It is a love which was willing to sacrifice God’s son so that reconciliation might happen on this earth.
But Jesus saw that he could not be everywhere, where some one needed compassion. so He told the disciples to go out among the people and do as He had done.
Our text says:
"but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ’The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. "
Jesus gave the mission of compassion to His disciples. He told them to go out among the people and show compassion, heal the sick, grant forgiveness in His name, feed the hungry, visit the lonely, be there for some as they experience the brokenness of this world.
And now that brings us to the question, how is god’s love, how is Jesus love shown in the world today?