Luke 7 Lesson

Compassion Not Judgment!

THE DEFINITION OF COMPASSION

Compassion is defined as:

  • “Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” (source: Google Dictionary)

When we see somebody suffering, the “Christian thing to do” is to show them compassion, not judgment.

The Bible has a lot to say about compassion and judgment.

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT COMPASSION

  1. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” - Ephesians 4:32.
  2. “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.” - Mark 6:34.
  3. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” - Colossians 3:12.
  4. “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” - Mathew 14:14.

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT JUDGMENT

  1. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” - Mathew 7:1-5.
  2. “Judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” - James 2:13.
  3. “Each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore.” - Romans 14:12-13.
  4. “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord,  every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’  So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.Romans 14:10-12.

THE STORY OF THE WOMAN AND THE ALABASTER VIAL

Luke writes:

  • “And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.” – Luke 7:37-38.

Note the difference between the reaction of the Pharisee and that of Jesus. Jesus had compassion for the woman and the Pharisee did not.  

THE REACTION OF THE PHARISEE

On the one hand, we have the Pharisee who said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” – Luke 7:39.

THE REACTION OF JESUS

Jesus responded:

  • “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.  You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.  For this reason, I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” – Luke 7:44-48.

COMPASSION NOT JUDGMENT

Everyone is suffering from something.   Suffering is a part of life. Some of us may be suffering more than others, but we are all suffering.   God uses adversity to discipline us, to teach us, and to shape us into the people that He created us to be.

Perhaps if we stopped to think about this more often, we would do a better job of showing compassion to one another. When the woman with the alabaster vile approached Jesus, He did not think about all the bad things that this woman had done.  Instead, He had compassion and showed her mercy.   How much better the world would be if everybody did the same!

CONCLUSION

As Christians, we are supposed to have compassion for those that we meet.   Jesus had compassion for others, and He commands us to do the same. 

When we show compassion to somebody, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus taught us to be kind to one another and to love each other.

Conversely, when we judge somebody, we offer no help whatsoever.  When we offer somebody judgment instead of mercy, we are doing the exact opposite of what Jesus wants us to be doing.

We will end today’s lesson with the following Bible verse. Many refer to this verse as, “The Golden Rule.”

  • “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” – Luke 6:31

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Prof. Dr. Lorin L Cranford

Thank you for a simple but effective glimpse into scripture. It followed sound hermeneutical guidelines (cf. Cranfordville.com at the BIC commentary) even as a topical study. It was a blessing to me.

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have just learned?

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John
Virtual Bible Study

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor alive during the time of Nazi Germany. About compassion, he said, “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

I can think about this quote and make a conscious effort to be more compassionate.

Reply
Dan W
Virtual Bible Study

It’s far too easy to condemn when compassion requires effort, even sacrifice. The motive for loving others is the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reply
Pat Dermody

John had prepared the way for Jesus according to the Old Testament, and all who came after John would have greater knowledge because Jesus would come and teach in their midst and die to save them. Therefore, .”even the least person in the kingdom of God is greater than he is. “

Reply
Dan W

It is a great thing when Christians determined to live in harmony because that’s what will please Christ

Reply
John

It is interesting that the woman with the alabaster perfume knew that Jesus was at this Pharisee's home.

She was not going to miss her chance to get right with God.

She went there, had faith, and in her own way worshiped Jesus.

Jesus knew her heart like he knows all of our hearts.

He said her faith made her whole.

How many people have an opportunity to worship Jesus and choose not to?

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John

Interesting when it says, "Yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" in verse 29.

This implies that there are different "levels" in heaven and ties into yesterday's lesson about how the believers will face a second judgment from the "Judgement Seat of Christ."

I take this to mean that Jesus will judge the deeds of the believers and decide where they rank in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I imagine those ranked higher will get things those ranked lower will not.

Most importantly, all believers will be saved and get to spend eternity in heaven with God, Jesus and all the saints.

How wonderful that will be!!!

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