The Marvel Of Compassion

    The word parable simply means a story. But more than that, the origin word meant “to cast side by side”; to walk in another’s shoes or walk on a road less traveled. The gospel of Matthew records this verse, “And Jesus saw the great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
    When we were in India, a woman approached us whose feet had no toes and a body that had no arms. She was in the latter stage of leprosy. As a rule we did not offer alms to anyone in India. We would have been immediately swamped with those in need, but we could not pass this woman by. I offered her a five dollar bill. Her eyes brightened and went down to her shoulders and I placed the offering between her chin and her shoulders. It’s the marvel of compassion.
    In Matthew 18, Jesus tells a parable about the Kingdom. A certain King returned home and took account of his servants. One owed his master ten thousand talents (about a hundred thousand dollars). He couldn’t pay the debt, so the King ordered him to prison till he should pay all. He begged his Lord to give him time and he would pay all. The Lord of that servant had compassion on him and forgave his debt.
    This same man found a fellow servant that owed him one hundred pence (about $100.00) and demanded payment. He asked for more time, but he would not and threw him into prison. When the King heard what was done he recalled that servant and said, “O thou wicked servant. I forgave you all that debt (a hundred thousand) because you asked (begged) me. Should you not have had compassion on him as I had compassion on you? His Lord was wroth (extremely angry) and delivered him to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due to him.
    When we, as a family, were moving to Ireland to do some work with believers, we sold all we had. Grandpa always said “One sell out is worth two burn outs.” One man bought and bought and gave us a check. After we arrived in Ireland, we received a notice from the bank, “Insufficient funds, do not resubmit”. Later I laughed about that $60.00 check. Ann saw me laughing and asked for an explanation. I looked up with teary eyes and said, “Do you think I owe my daddy sixty bucks? Or what about God, you think I owe him sixty dollars”. What about Jesus Christ that paid my fare I couldn’t pay for a fare he didn’t owe.” Do you remember the bungled money affair in Canada where I left a man owing money he did not owe? I tried to find him to make it right but never could. A tear fell from my eye as I said, “Tell me darling, do you think I owe you sixty bucks?”.
    One of the most wonderful friends we had in Ireland was named Sandy Cooper. He had the voice of an angel and one day said, “I have a song I want to sing to you.” We knew it was something special and a song we did not have in our church Hymn books. It was a most compassionate song.

“One sat alone beside the highway begging,
His eyes were blind, the light he could not see.
He clutched his rags; he shivered in the shadows,
Then Jesus came and bid his darkness flee.

When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken,
When Jesus comes all fears are washed away,
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.

So men today have found the Savior able,
They could not conquer passion, lust or sin;
Their broken heart had left them sad and lonely,
Then Jesus came and dwelt himself within.

When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken,
When Jesus comes all fear are washed away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.

    In the last twenty years I have given away rocks. I find them in creek beds, beautifully polished. I inscribe two words on the face and the date in small letters on the back. Then I go through the following process whose character deserved the recognition.
    I quote that simple verse to the recipient. “Jesus said, let him that be without sin, cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Then I asked them, “Are you without sin?” Without exception, they reply “No”.
    Then I present them with the beautiful stone. Written on its face are the words “FIRST STONE“. “If you never throw this first stone, you will never throw the second or third.” It is a wonderful reminder of the compassion of Christ. Just pick you out a beautiful stone. Print those two words on it and put it where you can see it daily. It’s a gift, a wonderful gift, a lifelong gift. It will help you to be a better person.
    “When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken; when Jesus comes all fears are washed away. He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory, for all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.”


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