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March 22, 2017, 8:16 AM

Eyes of Compassion

Church Family,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord give us eyes full of grace and compassion. May our hearts burn with a holy desire to make a positive impact upon the lives of our community for Jesus Christ. May we refuse to be hardened to the condition of our world and stand idly by as it falls deeper and deeper into the pit of despair.

Think about it: What do you see when you look at our community? Better yet, how long has it been since you looked upon our community with eyes of compassion? In Matthew 9:36 says, “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he was moved to compassion, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

The grammatical structure of this passage makes it quite clear that the compassion of Christ upon the crowd was the result of something else. “When he saw the crowds, he was moved to compassion”; or, to translate the Greek sentence quite literally, “Having seen crowds, he was moved with compassion.” The one thing was the consequence of the other. His pity sprang forth from His perception. Jesus’ compassion on the masses was the result of His vision.

Anybody who has two eyes in their head can see a crowd when there is a crowd to be seen. But can they? That is the very point. If seeing depends simply on the possession of two sound eyes, how is it people see so differently? How is it the very same sights produce such differing impressions? How is it that when the sun rises some people see just a disc of fire, but a poet-painter sees an “innumerable company of the heavenly host crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty’”? Nothing could be shallower or falser than to suggest that what we see depends on these two eyes of ours. Vision is not a faculty of the physical organ of sight solely.

What a person sees depends not simply on their eyes, but on their mind, their imagination, their heart. Without imagination and a heart to look through those eyes, they will not perceive.

Rev. J. D. Jones wrote, “Our Lord was moved with compassion by the vision of pain and sorrow. He suffered with every sufferer. It was from this infinite compassion of His for pain and suffering that nearly all his deeds of power sprang. His miracles were the product of His pity… We are no followers of His unless the vision of those same wrongs stirs us up also to compassion.”

Let us pray together: O Father, give me your eyes. May I see what you see today and then respond in faithful action. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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