Have You Learned Compassion?

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion and not sacrifice.'” (Matthew 9:13)

If Jesus told you to go and learn something, don’t you think it would be important to do so?  Here Jesus tells a group of Pharisees who were criticizing Him for “eating with … sinners” (:11) that He wants to us learn to have COMPASSION, not condemnation towards those who sin.

This does NOT mean that we are to compromise and approve the person’s sin, or that we do not call them back from it. God is a holy God, and their sin IS sin; nothing can change that. But our projecting an attitude of judgmental condemnation will most likely not be much of be an incentive for them to repent.

Jesus said that our attitude towards others’ sin is to be COMPASSION.  We are to want them OUT of that sin which is so destructive to them, to others, and to their relationship with God. We are to fervently pray for them, minister to them, and witness to them. And most importantly, Jesus tells us here, all of these responses are to all come from LOVE and COMPASSION — which, by the way, was HIS attitude towards the sinful world, as we learn in John 3:16!  God’s response towards us in sin was LOVE — aren’t you glad?! — and we are to be like Him!

What attitude do you have towards people you know who are far from God? Is it condemnation – or compassion?  Most likely they have a pretty good idea which it is.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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