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Deepening our Christianity

Jesus Felt Compassion · Deepening our Christanity #18

Published 5 months ago • 3 min read

Deepening our Christianity

the Monday Newsletter of Paul Prins

Edition #18 · 11 September 2023

Blessings Reader,

Jesus Felt Compassion

What is one of the most understandable but weirdest things I've noticed in talking to mature Christians? They often quote the Bible, but not the gospels. Just today, I saw someone online quote the Apostle Paul to define the Gospel, or good news. You know... The message that Jesus himself proclaimed and sent his disciples out to proclaim. They thought it was best to get that message secondhand from Paul.

I get it. Often, I can read through the letters of the New Testament without being confronted with my failure of character. Jesus though? When I see Jesus, we stand in stark contrast. Contrast between who he invites each of us to be, and who I am. Who He longs for His Church to be, and who we are together. It is only His inexhaustible love and grace that sustain my faith.

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35-36 [NASB]

In this passage at the end of Matthew 9, Jesus felt compassion for those being misled. Misled by their religious leaders. Compassion for those who were under religious leaders who distressed them and cast them down. He felt compassion for the very people who would plot His death with the Roman Empire.

It is no mistake that the author of Matthew immediately followed this passage with Jesus sending out His disciples. The compassion Jesus felt for the misled, distressed, and downcast moved him to proclaim the truth of the Kingdom of God. That God's yoke is pleasant and His burden light. Those who seek to save their souls will lose them, but those who forfeit their lives will find it. God will never cease to invite us out from under the crushing weight of oppressive leaders. Yet, it seems like, so many crave the power and might those leaders promise to wield. That they hope will be used in their favor.

Oh! But Jesus. Compassion flowed naturally out of the love within Jesus. Out of the love of the Father. Yet, so many in the western Church are falling for voices that speak not out of love, but from an insatiable hunger for power. The temptation to respond in kind is alluring. It is hard to see how God stands up for himself without some of us stooping low.

Yet Jesus stands there. He feels compassion for them. He invites them into the love of the Father. We cannot earn His love through conquest, but through following the Son through death. That every day we would cherish the fruit of the spirit in ourselves while allowing every other part of us to die and fade away.

I never know if I can. I don't know where we'll be. But I know there is a place for me beyond all of this. In hope. In glory. In the love that sustains me. In the grace that allows me to continue.

Until Next Week

Unpublished Photo for this Edition

A Prayer for the Week to Come

Oh Jesus. Never let us be content with anything but you. Give us moments where the world fades away. To see you against the figments of glory this world offers. Inspire us to follow you to the end of our days when our eyes close. Closing before they open to see you before them. Don't let us trade everything for con-men and temporary comfort. Help us choose You, Your love, and the hope of Your Cross forever and ever.

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Deepening our Christianity

the Monday Newsletter of Paul Prins

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