The compassion of God

“But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” Luke 10.33

The story of the Good Samaritan is one of the most well-known of all the parables Jesus taught, and today and tomorrow we will look at some different elements within it.

The story is very familiar; a man was in need but two people failed to help him because the observance of their religious duty prevented them from coming to his aid.  However, a third person, a Samaritan who was considered to be low in the ranks of society, had compassion and helped him.

We are told that the Samaritan had compassion (this is the sense behind the phrase ‘took pity’), which is a word sometimes used to describe Jesus in his healing ministry.

The compassion we may feel at times is a reflection of what God feels for us in our moments of hurt and distress.  He does not impassively look on as we go through painful struggles, but rather his heart is moved.

Far too often our picture of God is of someone who disapproves of many of the things we do and wants our constant repentance, when in reality he is a God who is moved by our plight and cares deeply about the things that hurt us.  When a child lashes out at their parents with the words, ‘You don’t care’, it can hurt the parents deeply.  I wonder how God feels when we say that to him?

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