Your Intention Matters
In Luke 10, we see Jesus telling the parable of the Good Samaritan to a local man of the law. I have both loved and preached on this passage, as I believe that it ultimately points to what Jesus has done for us through His selfless act of sacrificial mercy. However, what lessons can we take from the intention of our Savior, and how can we show compassion as He did?
1. Recognize where compassion is needed
In Luke 10:33, we see that the Samaritan felt compassion when he saw the dying man on the side of the road. What stands out to me in vs. 33 is that when the Samaritan saw the dying man, he had compassion. As pastors, whether we like to admit it or not, we can become overly busy. Between the business meetings, events and preaching (just to name a few of our responsibilities), our lives can feel like a constant overload of time management and stress. Ask yourself this question, “When was the last time I purposefully looked for an opportunity to show compassion?” We can become so caught up in the busy life of pastoring that we almost forget to pastor. Caring for those in our congregations is crucially important to the growth of God’s people, so let us not forget to look for opportunities to pastor.
2. Act when compassion is necessary
In Luke 10:34, we see the Samaritan act through the compassion that he had towards the dying man near the road. Imagine with me, if you would, as Jesus comes to the Earth over 2,000 years ago. He walks among the broken people, sees the need and the hurt that desperately needs mending. Then, with all of His might, He decides to do absolutely nothing about it. Shocking, right? Thankfully, Christ did not do this. However, we as His followers do this consistently. We will see an opportunity for compassion, realize that it is needed, and refuse to act on it. Let us take after our Savior, who chose to act on the compassion we did not deserve nor earn.
3. Work with compassion seeking no reward
Finally, we see in Luke 10:35 that the Samaritan does not forget compassion. In doing this, the Samaritan is showing a selflessness that comes few and far between in our day and age. I can remember as a child, myself and other students received these pieces of paper entitled “gotcha cards” from our school. There were eight punch holes in the card, and each time you were caught serving another student, you would receive a punch in your card. After so many, the student could trade their completed “gotcha card” for a prize. However, your card would not be punched if you were simply committing a kind act for recognition; you were to serve out of kindness and not for recognition. The goal of these cards was to stir up a hunger for service in the students, acting on their compassion without recognition. In the same way, God has called us to serve in compassion without recognition, knowing that all recognition belongs to God and God alone. As a pastor, I know that this can be something many struggle with, as our platform has become one of influence in the lives of so many people. We must always remember that, even in moments of acting, we should check our hearts to see exactly the intention of our actions. Am I serving God, or serving myself?
I urge you, siblings in Christ, let us press on to the upward call of Christ Jesus as God’s Word urges us to do. Ultimately, our goal should be the same – to selflessly point those who God loves to His sacrifice.