Compassion

Compassion is a divine attribute of our Abba, Father, and of the Ruach HaKodesh, our comforter, and supremely revealed by the amazing grace of Yeshua our Messiah. With great compassion He felt each person who reached out to Him from suffering, and when He touched a person, great power went out from His to heal and cleanse.

Now each of us, who have been called and are being conformed to reflect His glorious image, are called to reach out to others with compassion, so that others may be touched and healed by His love and power. V’eemru? (And let us say?)

Compassion goes to the core of God’s very nature,  as He revealed in Sh’mot (Exodus) 33:18-19 (CJB), “Then Moshe said, ‘Please, show me your glory!’  And He replied, ‘I will pass over all my goodness before you, and I will call out the name ADONAI before you. I will show grace to whomever I show grace, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’”

Screenshot 2014-02-09 15.46.01The verse ends with the word arechem: I will have compassion. From the same Hebrew root we get the word rachameem—which should sound familiar, from the last prayer of the Amidah that we sang, Sim Shalom.

It was with compassion that Abba heard the cry of the slaves in Egypt and sent a deliverer to them. In Exodus 3:7 He said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.”

How many of you know what it’s like to feel miserable?  Abba has seen your misery.  He has heard your cry and He is concerned about your suffering. It was with compassion that Abba sent His one and only Son into the world and named Him Yeshua—Salvation—for everyone who receive His touch with trust.

With tenderness the Son describes Abba’s love in His parable of the prodigal son, in Luke 15:20, “But while he was still far away, his father saw him and felt compassion. He ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”

Can you feel it? Children of Abba: it is so important that you each feel, and know, His compassion for you.  When it says, in Romans 8:15, “you received the Ruach of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” we must understand that when we cry out, it is not into blind darkness, but into the glorious light of His love. And when it says, in Romans 8:17, “if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him,” we must know that we suffer with Him because He has had compassion for us. So now we can have compassion for Him, who has suffered so much for us. V’eemru?  Thus any suffering that we experience becomes redemptive, when we identify with Yeshua, in His suffering, for us. V’eemru?

Compassion is an essential characteristic of the Ruach Elohim— Yeshua calls Him the comforter. It is the Ruach who spoke through Isaiah, “Comfort, comfort my people.”

Paul says that the Holy Spirit grieves easily.

It was the Ruach Elohim who grieved over Israel through the prophets.

It was the Holy Spirit who wept over Jerusalem through Messiah, longing to gather her children, like a hen gathering her chicks under her wing.

It is the Ruach HaKodesh who grieves when we shut out prophetic words of encouragement and strengthening.

Let us resolve not to grieve the Ruach HaKodesh. V’eemru? Let us resolve to be sensitive to His compassion for us, and to His prompting to show compassion for others. V’eemru?

His compassion moves Him.  HaShem doesn’t just hear the cries of the slaves; He sets them free! His compassion distinguishes the Torah from all other law codes, ancient or modern:  Psalm 72:13, “He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and save the souls of the needy.”

Nobody, nobody has revealed the compassion of God more vividly and powerfully than Yeshua! In Mark 1:41,  “Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out his hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing, Be cleansed.” So that you may feel Yeshua’s compassion more strongly, I will read Sharon Lindsay’s story  telling, from Healing in His Wings, pp. 106-107. [Rabbi Glenn reads aloud on the podcast. Or you can order her book online and read it yourself!]

Sharon milks the story a bit—tza’arat as described in Torah is not like leprosy or Hanson’s disease. Nevertheless, Torah does require a strict quarantine—a metzora (anyone suffering from tza’arat) had to dwell outside the camp (or here, outside the town) and cry “Unclean, unclean!” So the revulsion of Yeshua’s disciples was predictable. Yet the compassion of Yeshua was not. Torah decreed that anyone who touched a metzora would also become unclean. Yet here the opposite happens: Yeshua made the metzora clean! In Acts 11:9, the Ruach says, “What God has made clean, you must not consider unclean.”  V’eemru? Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched the one who was supposed to be unclean and untouchable. Moved with compassion, He removed the uncleanness.  Compassion is powerful!  V’eemru?

Yeshua healed scores of people with tza’arat, thousands of people with various diseases and demons. Yet He never do so anonymously—He looked each person in the face, felt each one’s pain, so that the Ruach’s compassion moved Him, with love and with power. That is why the Son of God became the Son of Man and tabernacled among people.  Hebrews 4:15-16 says of Him, “ For we do not have a kohen gadol who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all the same ways—yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.” V’eemru?

When Yeshua taught, it was different from other rabbis, because He taught with authority,  which flowed from His oneness in Spirit with Abba. When Yeshua taught, it was different from other rabbis, because He taught with compassion, which flowed from His oneness in Spirit with Abba.

In Mark 6:34, “When Yeshua landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Just as in compassion God had sent prophets to Israel, so in compassion, Abba moved Yeshua to teach. I pray that the rest of my teaching might be moved by His Spirit, with His compassion. V’eemru?

Compassion moved Yeshua to set people free. When Yeshua sees your weakness, He is able to sympathize, because He dwelt among us. Maybe when He was working in His Dad’s carpenter’s shop, he hit his finger with a hammer? I imagine he would have winced or cried out, but he didn’t take Abba’s name in vain! V’eemru?

Yeshua didn’t like the demons of unforgiveness or resentment or pride or greed clinging to people, He could look beyond them and see the glorious image of God waiting to be restored in each one. Let me share another story from Sharon’s book, pp. 116-119.

Isn’t Yeshua awesome? How I love Yeshua! This whole message began when the Ruach moved me, just to tell Him how much I love Him, before I even knew why. To follow Yeshua is more than to know about Him. It’s to be moved by His compassion for you. Brothers and sisters, let His compassion touch you, so that His love and His power can set you free. To be free indeed is to know that God is real and that God’s love is real—for you. Then you won’t need to hang onto any unbelief or any unforgiveness.

Humble yourself before the Lord and He will give you grace and compassion. He will speak truth to you. Then every lie will be exposed, and when you resist the devil, he will flee.

V’eemru?

How many of you are followers of Yeshua? Then you are destined to be conformed into His image. To follow Yeshua is to express His compassion for others, as the Spirit that moved Him moves you. To follow Yeshua is to humble yourself enough to deeply care about another. To follow Yeshua is surrender yourself the way Yeshua surrendered Himself. To follow Yeshua to lay down your life, to lay down your own agenda, to lay down your preference, in order to love your neighbor—even if your neighbor is someone unclean or strange to you. To follow Yeshua is to make to make that phone call or visit Allen or Art in the hospital, or a shut-in, and pray for healing, with compassion, releasing the power of Yeshua to heal, to pray for deliverance with discernment and power. To follow Yeshua is come along side one who is weary or afraid or discouraged and breathe new life, to strengthen and encourage. To follow Yeshua is to welcome the stranger with hospitality. To follow Yeshua is to love the elderly in nursing home as well as the children in the nursery. To follow Yeshua is listen patiently and reflectively. To follow Yeshua is to share toe Good News as soon as the Holy Spirit prompts you that this person  needs to hear it now. To follow Yeshua is to trust the Holy Spirit to do far more than you can do in your own strength?

How many of you are followers of Yeshua?

This sermon may not to be reprinted in whole or in part without the express written consent of Messianic Rabbi Glenn D. Blank of Beit Simcha.  Your generous support for our ministry and building project is appreciated!

 

 

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