We noted in the previous article that Jesus challenged the Scribes and Pharisees for neglecting the weightier matters of the Law i.e. JUSTICE AND MERCY. Any religious practices which lack justice and mercy are acts of hypocrisy. A closer scrutiny of Jesus’ life and ministry reflects that it was characterised by the statement: MOVED WITH COMPASSION. This statement means to have the bowels yearn, a Jewish idiom meaning having deep compassion. These are the BOWELS OF MERCY which Paul encourages the Colossian Community to have (Colossians 3:12-13). Could it be that those who want to serve God the Jesus way must have BOWEL FEELINGS which will move them with compassion in everything they do for Christ? Whilst the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us the behaviour of compassionate people, it is also a reminder that religious people can sometimes be heartless. Both the Priest and the Levite who who happened to be going down the same road where this half dead man was, simply passed by. They valued ceremonial cleanliness stipulated in the Mosaic law but ignored the spirit of the law where compassion had to out-weigh their outward cleanliness. They valued religious duties at the expense of a dying soul. Jesus asked the expert in the law, ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ He replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him’. How sarcastic it is that the expert in the law hesitates to say that it was the SAMARITAN but deliberately opted to reduce him to a statistic ‘THE ONE’.
It is my prayer that the 21st Century Church should glean lessons from the 1st Century Church whose ministry was moved by compassion. Indeed weightier matters should propel us to action. When weightier matters become your passion, you will TALK IT. Paul declared before King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Its time to talk about Jesus wherever we are and whenever an opportunity arises. When weightier matters become your passion, you will WALK IT. Some TALK IT by the mile but WALK IT by the inch. Our greatest and most effective method of winning others to Christ is to WALK THE TALK. Somebody said it well that Christianity is easier CAUGHT than TAUGHT. Indeed actions speak louder than words. May the 21st Century Church produce WALKIE TALKIES for Jesus (WALK IT & TALK IT). Finally when weightier matters become your passion you will LOVE IT. Micah 6:8 rightfully says, ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To ACT JUSTLY and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God’. Truly humble people act justly and love mercy. You and I have to love weightier matters of justice and mercy.
Check out some of the scenarios which moved Jesus with compassion:
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SHEPHERD-LESS
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SICK
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DEGRADED
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the MOURNING
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the POOR
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DISABLED
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the HUNGRY
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the SINNERS
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the HEAVY-LADEN
# Jesus was moved with compassion for the DEMON-POSSESSED
May weightier matters of the bowels be our passion.