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The Tenderness of Compassion

"A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion." Luke 10:33 CEB

Throughout the month of September, in our morning worship services, we have been focusing on The Good Samaritan parable that we read in Luke 10:25-27. We have been looking at this parable from different angles. It is so robust with meaning that we feel that we can never cover all its entirety.

We know that a legal expert encountered Christ and was commended by Jesus for acknowledging that to inherit eternal life one must “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” But then the legal expert asked, “and who is my neighbor?”

Jesus could have just answered his question, straight-forward, cut to the chase. Simply said, “Everyone is your neighbor.” But instead, Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In so doing, he put the legal expert and all of us in the story. So that it will make an impact on the lawyer and us. We can experience what it feels like to be a good neighbor, instead of just being told what to do. This shows the brilliance in Jesus in reaching people in a heartfelt way.

The key phrase to me is in verse 33. For as the other two, saw the injured man and walked past him, the Samaritan saw him and “was moved with compassion.” Stories and parables can put us within the narrative. In this case, so that we will be moved to compassion when encountering a neighbor in need. Or a phrase I heard a lot when I was growing up, to “rile us up.” What would rile you up enough to reach out to a “neighbor,” with the definition of a neighbor being anyone we encounter? We must all look deep inside ourselves and discover what would it take for us to be “moved to compassion?”


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