Someone has said, “We have no permission from Jesus to be selective in our compassion.” It is our natural tendency, however, to choose whom we will reach out to. Perhaps this was the problem of the priest and the Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan. In any event, we know it is often our problem. Jesus mingled with all men, the rich and the poor, the socially acceptable and the backward and undesirable. This willingness to enter into other’s lives is costly. . . .
Our God wants to dislodge us from our comfortable, smug existence, to move us to mingle with our needy brothers, to stir us to touch those we might otherwise shun. Another poet, whose name is lost in history, expresses the challenge well:
“Love has a hem to her garment
that trails in the very dust;
It can reach the stains of streets and lanes,
and because it can, it must.”
This is clearly the brand of compassion Jesus exemplified, and it is the kind of loving outreach He calls us to in our modern world. Answering His call is often a struggle for us. We may pay lip service to such compassion, but the performance is often costly, and we’re inclined to back away. . . .
True compassion is an expression of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is always ready to give, and always willing to sacrifice.