CULTURE WARS | The Weapon of Compassion

Luke 10:25-37 - One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

I. Jewish and Samaritan culture war

A. The history

  • During the time of the Kings there came a division in Israel. The 10 northern tribes set up their Capital City in Samaria and were known as "Israel". 
  • The two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah, kept their capital city in Jerusalem and were now called "Judah".
  • Judah considered themselves to be pure "Jews" as they followed the laws more closely and were careful not to mix with other nations around them. 

B. The same people began a culture war. 

  • They hated each other when they were mostly the same people. 
  • Same history. Same heroes.

These people were at war with each other’s Ideology. Their truth was at odds with each other. There doesn’t seem to be any way to bring them together.

II. Our weapon is Compassion.

A. Take up your weapon of compassion

  • The only weapon we have in this sin sick world is compassion.
  • Only compassion can be heard when words do not work anymore.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. -Dalai Lama

B. Our love for one another truly reveals our love for God. 

  • To show compassion and be a neighbor to the needy is the act of that love.
  • Isn’t it interesting in the 10 Commandments only the first 2 commandments deal with our relationship with God? The other 8 deals with our relationship with humans.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Being right has not given us the freedom to disregard our commitment to compassion. People who are made in the image of God need our compassion. How do we show compassion in our everyday lives?

III. Using the weapon of compassion

1. Our compassion is to be driven, not by the “worth” of the recipient but by the need. 

  • The man is robbed and wounded and left for dead. He needs help in the worse way. 
  • The first two passersby probably just didn’t want to get involved. They didn’t want any trouble. They weren’t monsters. They were regular folks: nice, ordinary people who loved their kids and tried their best to get by in the world. 
  • Both men of these men saw the man but ignored the need. These two religious professionals; were caught up in a lifeless religion. 

These two had a chance to engage in the war and they didn’t. They played at church, at religion, but it does not affect the way they live. Does yours? 

2. Compassion Is Measured by the Obstacles that Must be Overcome to Exercise it!

Notice with me three obstacles that hindered the Samaritan showing compassion.

A. He Overcame the Obstacle of Being Unappreciated.

  • There is no a logical reason for the Samaritan to rearrange his plans or to spend his money to help an “enemy” in need. 
  • Of all the people who passed this injured man by the Samaritan had the least reason to help, 
  • He was hated. Considered a hater by this society before this incident and his good deed would not change his status in the eyes of the Jews.
  • Compassion does not just mystically happen, it takes a concentrated effort. It often is not convenient. 
  • I can guarantee you that when you engage like this, sooner or later, you will be unappreciated.

The Samaritan is moving toward someone who if he was conscious would despise him; someone who would not do the same for him if the situations were reversed. 

B. He Overcame the Obstacle of the Possibility of Being Misunderstood.

  • It should be remembered that his act of placing this man on his donkey and leading him down the road to an inn was open to misinterpretation. 
  • A Samaritan transporting a Jewish victim of a mugging would be the equivalent of a Native American riding into the frontier Fort with a scalped soldier draped across his horse; he probably would never get the opportunity to tell what had happened!
  • When we show compassion, we will be misunderstood and the object f suspicion.

He overcame being unappreciated, He overcame being misunderstood, and thirdly…

C. He Overcame the Obstacle of Personal Inconvenience.

  • We need to recognize that he took the time to take care of him. We may not be able to help everywhere, or help everyone, but we can help somewhere.
  • The Samaritans work did not stop with just helping the man and transporting him to a place of safety.
  • Everything this man had done cost him something, either in time, inconvenience or resources. 
  • He left money to take care of this man’s needs and he put no limit on how much he would spend to see the wounded man taken care of. 

Compassion Is Measured by the Obstacles that Must be Overcome to Exercise it and …

3. Our Compassion Demonstrates Our Relationship With God!

The lawyer is left without any of the excuses or the vindication that he wanted. The second question that the lawyer had asked was, “Who is my neighbor?” the question had been turned on him and is now, “What kind of neighbor am I?”

1 John 3:16-18 - We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

When we act in compassion it shows whose we are! It reflects the compassion of God and we become His hands and feet.

Summary

Here we have a man who first notices the need. Then he followed his gut and showed compassion to his enemy. So, in this culture war let’s attack! With the compassion that God has given us! We cannot be stopped.