Matthew 9:36 (Image: HisGraceMinistriesDubai)
How do we live out our faith in the world today? A Christian political activist might say it is to join a protest against a cultural practice that makes you angry, because every citizen has a right to express their political opinion; but is this where our practical living for the faith ends? Is there more we could do?
How did Jesus live out his faith when he preached in Galilee in the flesh? He lived at a time when the Roman empire had conquered Judah; when angry Tiberius was emperor of Rome; and when poor people of Judah were harassed by both Jewish and Roman leaders, especially to pay the Roman tax.
Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV) states: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Poor people expected leaders to be wicked, they were sincerely surprised to see Jesus showing compassion. In the Roman empire at a that time, kindness and gentleness were considered weak and wrong, while anger and cruelty were considered strong and right, but Jesus lived a life of compassion.
In our world today, there is rising anger and cruelty, from the powerful to the poor, and from the poor to the powerful in retaliation; compassion seems like a very bad thing to do. Christians have to see the compassion of Jesus, and live as a people showing compassion to the harassed, widows, orphans, and strangers.
Lord, open our minds to see the compassion of Jesus, so we too can be healers and good shepherds to the harassed and helpless, Amen!