Jesus taught others to show compassion and often showed compassion for others Himself. Today, we will consider a third instance when Jesus showed compassion as recorded in Luke 7:11-17. In this instance Jesus shows compassion for a widow who had lost her only son by raising that son from the dead. Notice, He showed compassion on the widow and not on the one whom He raised. We will consider a few reasons why this might be so.
Under Jewish tradition it was the duty of the eldest son to look after his widowed mother. Read what Jesus did on the cross for His own mother in John 19:26,27. Jesus was looking after His mother, Mary, by having His disciple John look after her because He was her oldest son.
In the passage we are considering, He showed compassion on the woman because she had lost her means of support and there was no one to look after her with both her husband and her only son deceased. This shows how Jesus may have compassion on us and meet our needs in this life.
No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, God and His Son, will have compassion on us and care for our needs. He will do this even for the hardened sinner, perhaps, but all the more so, he will look after those whom He calls His own. If we will but put God’s kingdom and His righteousness first and do what God would have us do, thus meeting His conditions for salvation, He will be sure that our needs are met (Matthew 6:31-34).
He tells us to work with our own hands and eat our own bread (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12) and if we are His, He will see that we are able to fulfill this command. Those who are unable, He will also care for as He has even this writer over the years. If we do His will our needs will be met. He assures us of it. We must only put God first and obey His will and we need not worry for the things of this world. Jesus looked after the widow in this case. God will look after us as well.
In this instance, too, Jesus gave life to a man in which there was none. In this same way, He gives us hope of eternal life and resurrection from the dead, since He gave Himself on the cross that we may be saved from our sins. As I mentioned in Part two of this series, it was the greatest act of compassion and love toward all of mankind that there could ever be, when Jesus gave Himself on the cross.
His sacrifice not only gives us life (eternal life), but it puts us in a proper holy state of being that is acceptable to God, so that we may live for eternity with Him. Without the death of our Savior, we would have no hope of eternal life with the Father and no salvation from our sins and from the final judgement that awaits all (read Romans 6). We should keep ever in the forefront of our minds this great love and compassion that God and His Son show and have shown toward us.
So, then, we should have compassion on others when the opportunity presents itself. If we cannot show mercy toward others, how can we expect God’s mercy to apply to us. If, as Christians, we can care for all men and do good to all, especially to those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), we can reflect the goodness and compassion of Jesus as seen in these three instances we have mentioned and in all that He has done for us.
We must follow the command that Jesus gives after He told the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. We must “Go and do likewise.”
May God bless and keep you until next time.