Summary: Three ways that Jesus showed kindness.
If you were describing our world, would you describe it as a kind place? If so, just what “kind of place” are you thinking of? For instance, have you tried recently to get service in a crowded store? Were you shocked recently by something on the news? Doesn’t it seem like we’ve grown to expect rude, crude and even violent behavior in so many places – especially on t.v. I guess that’s why we really like hearing stories of kindness.
Here’s a story about a woman who was standing at a bus stop. She had just cashed her tax refund check, so she was carrying more money than usual. She glanced around and noticed a shabbily dressed man standing nearby. As she watched, she saw another man walk up to him, hand him some money, and whisper something in his ear. She was so touched by that random act of kindness that she decided to do the same. In a burst of generosity, she reached into her purse, took out $10, handed it to the poor fellow, and whispered to him, "Never despair, never despair."
The next day, when she came to the bus stop, there he was again. But this time he walked up to her and handed her $110. Dumbfounded, she asked, "What’s this?" He said, "You won, lady. Never Despair paid 10 to 1."
Now I can’t promise that every rampant act of kindness will pay 10 to 1. At times kindness may even require sacrifices on your part. So with that in mind, let’s look at a couple of the clearest examples of kindness in the Bible. You might like to open your pew Bibles with me since I’m going to draw a good deal from it. Turn, if you wish, to Luke 8:40-56 (page 1003).
In this passage, we see Jesus showing kindness to two entirely different people.
One is a rich and influential man, and the other is a poor, outcast woman. Yet, Jesus treated both of them with equal kindness.
At the time of this story, Jesus was at the pinnacle of his popularity. People respected Him as a healer and a teacher, and crowds followed Him everywhere. But despite the pressures of his popularity, despite all the demands on His time, Jesus dropped everything He was doing to meet the needs of these two people.
The syndicated columnist Cal Thomas wrote, “Love talked about is easily ignored. But love demonstrated is irresistible.” Jesus not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. So let’s look and see How Jesus Showed Kindness.
I. He paid attention to them. Jesus listened when they spoke and addressed their needs. Listen to Luke 8:40-41. “Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12, was dying. As Jesus was on His way (to the girl), the crowds almost crushed Him.”
Notice that we’re not told where Jesus was going before Jairus appeared. Maybe He was on His way to teach and preach to a waiting crowd. That would’ve made it an important errand. But as soon as Jairus told Him about his daughter, Jesus immediately changed direction. He began following Jairus because this girl’s situation was more pressing than whatever else He had scheduled.
By the way, how well do you handle interruptions? For some people, work means concentrating, and if someone interrupts, they consider that an intrusion. Many of us don’t handle interruptions too well. But we’re all changing. In my own experiences, I’ve noticed that sometimes interruptions are sent by God; opportunities to minister that I would’ve missed if I’d ignored them.
Jesus paid attention to Jairus, and He changed direction. But Jairus was not the only interruption, and Jesus was flexible and kind enough to pause to meet another’s need as well. Notice verses 43-46, “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
“’Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’"
Picture it – crowds of people surrounding them – everyone was in a hurry; Yet, Jesus knew he’d been touched by someone special who needed His help.
Our world is fast becoming more and more impersonal, isn’t it? Go to a modern service station, and you don’t even have to talk to anybody anymore. Just put your card in the slot, pump the gas, and you can drive away.