Moved by Compassion
Today’s blog post is different from what we usually publish. It’s an excerpt from the newest book of our regular contributor, Chris Maxwell: Pause with Jesus: Entering His Story in Everyday Life.
In this excerpt, Chris immerses us in wave after wave of images from the story of Jesus. He invites us to sit and rest in that story, to see our own ministries in the context of Christ’s. As you read, picture yourself among Jesus’ followers. Ask yourself how closely your ministry reflects his. How often do you take a break from the turmoil of youth ministry to reflect on the point of it all? Here’s your chance. –Kyle Rohane, editor at LeaderTreks
What did Jesus do? What did Jesus say? How can I pause while writing about pausing and let these stories be realities in my own hurried rush toward the next story of my own life?
I glimpse back at the narratives. Each one is so antique and so distant but so now and so near.
He brought the dead back to life. He heard the questions of others and answered with stories. Was He the one guaranteed to come? He didn’t look like what they expected and He didn’t act the way they estimated, but they wanted to ask anyway. What did it really mean as Jesus told of an easy yoke and a light burden?
See how each part of the large drama is inviting? A woman with the alabaster flask. Mary Magdalene. A request for some sign of proof. Rebukes from Christ to the scribes and Pharisees and hypocrites. He warned His audience; He encouraged His audience. Correction and direction. Confrontation and questions.
And stories. So many stories. Parables to make a point through a narrative.
Just like how this large narrative is pointing our way. Fig trees and seeds and a hidden treasure and a net. All told by a Prophet without honor in His own town. All told by a Lover who cared too much to try to fit in. All told by a Teacher who knew the words would cost Him life.
So, what would He do? How would He respond to the conflict, the tension of this drama? Calms a storm. Tells the truth. Goes home—a place leaders like Him aren’t honored. Tells a story about wineskins. Welcomes into His story Jarius’s daughter and a woman with an issue of blood.
What moved Jesus? What inspired Him and pushed Him toward action? A law? A regulation? A moment to grab a few more votes in His favor? No. He was moved by compassion. Moved. By compassion.
That compassion caused Jesus to send out His disciples.
See where the story went? See where our stories are now to go?
If not, we need to stay here in the story. Jesus did not let His opposition rob Him of compassion. He did not become like those who rejected Him. He proved His love by loving. He proved His character by displaying compassion.
For the people, Jesus cared.
He was moved by compassion.
The moving carried Him on in the narrative of conflict. John the Baptizer was beheaded. Five thousand were miraculously fed. Jesus walked on water. Jesus knew some would go away. Multitudes came, more were fed, stories were told, blind could see, Jesus traveled to the land where He would die, Jesus was transfigured, demons were removed, Jesus told of His death.
Tension. A good event and a painful event. A miraculous healing and a promise of death. Blind eyes could see and followers failed to see the realities of His story.
A coin in a fish’s mouth. Followers wanting the best seat in the leadership structure. Feast of Tabernacles. Friends and foes. Large numbers and small numbers. Ten lepers and a parable about a Good Samaritan. Time at the home of Mary and Martha. Pausing in the hurry to teach His best friends to pray.
The blind could see. The sheep would hear His voice. Enemies continued plotting. Jesus raised Lazarus from death. A lady, crippled for eighteen years, was healed. Opposition rose because Christ followed love instead of ritual.
Jesus instructed His followers to not pursue the highest seat but to seek the lowest. He coached them to count the cost, told them more stories, revealed the hypocrisy of His religious resistance.
Where do we find ourselves as we pause a moment in this hurried glance at history?
Are we wanting recognition? Are we willing to serve like a Good Samaritan? Are we Mary or Martha or both? Are we seeking to learn how to pray? Are we asking for Christ to bring us back to life? Are we stubborn enough to work through a decade of unanswered prayers and seek a healing right now at this moment? Are we refusing to allow opposition to control us? Are we silently willing to take the back seat?
Jesus continued His adventure of love.
About the Author
The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry… Read More