JESUS (Our Compassionate SAVIOR)

This week we will begin a study in the book of Luke.  So many of the miracles that Jesus did, are wonderfully recorded in this book in GOD’S WORD.  Today we will be looking at some accounts of JESUS and to see the compassion HE had and hopefully we can begin to understand that the same compassion HE had then for the people around HIM, still today HE has compassion for us.  What a wonderful Savior JESUS is.  Today it is my prayer that during this study, you will feel the great love HE has for you, and that you will fall more deeply in love with HIM because HE indeed is truly lovely.

Handout: JESUS (Our Compassionate SAVIOR)

The book of Luke is interesting for many reasons.  Number one being that Luke was a Greek.  That means he was a Gentile Christian.  He is the only known Gentile author in the New Testament.  Luke was a Physician, we learn this in Colossians 4:14.  He was a close friend and companion of The Apostle Paul.  He also was the author of the book of Acts.  Luke being a medical doctor and historian puts great emphasis on dates and details connecting JESUS to events and people in history.  This shows that Luke was well educated.  He makes frequent references to illnesses as well as diagnoses.  Most wonderful Luke stresses JESUS’ relationship with people and just how compassionate He was and is.  One such account we will be looking at in this study. 

Luke 7:13-17 “11And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people. 12Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13And when The LORD saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
 14And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. 16And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17And this rumour of Him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.”
If you will, just open your minds eye and try to place yourself at this very place.  Imagine the scenery and this sad occasion.  We all know that death is no new thing to the human race, but every time it is a sad experience.  Now you must understand the depth of sorrow. This woman’s only son had died.  Not only was this devastating for obvious reasons, it was also a terrible day because this woman was a widow and her future without a son was bleak.  Times then were very different than now.  She faced a life of poverty without her son to care for her.  Now in the ancient Eastern culture, the depth of concern for the dead and the grief could be measured by the volume of the cries and physical demonstration of the grieving ones.  So the wailing that must have been coming from this mother I’m sure was mournfully overwhelming.  Recently a lot of you know that my mother went Home to be with The LORD and the grief lasts much longer than the funeral. 

A little over a week ago I attended the funeral of a young man at the age of 20 who had died.  Much of the time the wails and loud cries of his grieving mother was heart wrenching.  It was one of the saddest things I have ever heard and I couldn’t stop the tears running down my face just hearing her agony.  All I could do was just pray for GOD to comfort her because I knew HE was the only one that could in this time.  In doing this study I’ve thought a lot about her.  I’m sure the widow woman in the account of Luke, was so sorrowful and her cries much have gripped all who were present, including Jesus.  It was certainly tragic.  So here JESUS has come upon this scene and hearing the cries of this woman The Scriptures say that HE had compassion on her and He said to her, “Weep Not, or Don’t cry.  That is so sweet, isn’t it.  Psalm 34:18 says that The LORD is near to those who are broken hearted.  That is so comforting to know that JESUS feels our pain and HE rushes to us when we are heart broken, just as He had compassion on this woman who had lost her only son. 

The heart of Jesus went out to this woman, and He knew that HE was her only hope.  No one else could bring her son back.  Notice in verse 14 the scriptures tell us that Jesus touched the Bier.  Now in those days the body would have been placed on a wooden stretcher like carrier if you will, and it was by law ritually unclean for you to just go up and touch this like Jesus did, that is why they just stopped in their tracks.  It was shocking to them that Jesus did this!  I’m sure some mouths were wide open in horror.  What they did not understand is that Jesus is The Son of GOD and can not be defiled no matter what HE touches…Hallelujah! 

The very fact that Jesus touched is such a loving gesture from Him for you see He is the all powerful Son of GOD and it was not necessary for Him to touch this in order to raise this boy up. We know from other accounts such as Lazarus for instance, that all Jesus had to do was say the word and this boy would be raised, but Jesus touched. 

The word touched in the original Greek is haptomai, from the word hapto, which means to connect, or bond/bind.  Haptomai means “to apply oneself to, to touch.”  When Jesus touched, He literally connected Himself to this situation!  He felt for this woman and He did not keep Himself at a distance, but instead rushed to her and connected Himself to this, fully applying Himself!  He is indeed near to those who have a broken heart!  Praise The LORD!

Now look at this, the Greek antonym or opposite term for “touched,”  egkrateuomai.   It mean self control.  Now understand that Jesus being The Son of God does not sin when He casts off self restraint, human beings can, but He does not.  What I’m suggesting is that He saw and felt the deep despair of this woman, that He literally cast off self restraint to just leave the situation as it was and He reacted!  He ran to this woman in desperate need and did exactly what came naturally to Him and that was to heal and to save her.  Wow what a Lovely Savior we have.  The woman did not pray for a miracle, she did not ask Jesus to raise her son, she probably did not even realize who Jesus was or that He was even there.  He just saw her need and reacted pure mercy and grace.  Thank You JESUS!

I believe it would amaze us if we could even have a glimpse into what CHRIST long to do in every single one of our heart breaking moments in life if a greater plan was not at stake!  I think what comes naturally to The LORD is to run to our rescue every time we cry to HIM, but we know that sometimes pain is necessary for our good and HIS glory.  I believe The LORD JESUS CHRIST so full of compassion that HE must exercise immeasurable restraint to hold back from rescuing us every time we cry out.  Sometimes GOD works though our patience in waiting for deliverance at times instead of just rescuing us.  It’s amazing to understand that HE will always exercise that control and do the right thing for our good no matter what the situation.  HE is so good and HIS mercy endures forever! 

Dear one whatever you are going through, cry out to HIM.  He will ride on the wings of the wind to your rescue, it is in HIS very nature to save you, and if HE doesn’t do it immediately, understand that HE is allowing you to wait for a greater purpose in your life!  You and I can trust GOD, we can trust our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST…how is rich in compassion!  I Love Him so!

Dear Righteous, Heavenly Savior…

We bow before You today in complete and utter surrender and thanksgiving for who You are.  Thank You for being near to us when we are broken hearted and for wanting to run to our rescue every time we cry out.  Thank You for applying and bonding Yourself in every situation we go through.  You are a hands on Savior and You are so good.  We are unworthy of our own merit but thankful that through You we are made worthy. It’s all about You Jesus and we praise You.  You are always worthy.  We ask today that You reach down and meet the need and comfort all those who are in desperate need and who are sin sick and hurting. Thank You for being our LORD and Master…In YOUR name we pray.  Amen.

March 11, 2018