There is a lot of selfless giving going on in the world today. People are donating their time and resources to those who are down and destitute. It warms your heart to see all of the acts of kindness going on. One famous chef provided over three million meals in one week to those who have lost their jobs and are struggling. Jesus told us to show compassion to those who need it. Don’t just go through the motions. Show you care.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Choose to Care
What is the difference between compassion and sacrifice? As Jesus is speaking, this sacrifice refers to the offering of a lamb at the temple. It cost a little time and money, but once it was done, you could go on with your life. Compassion, on the other hand, takes sympathy, listening, much more time. You can go through the motions on a sacrifice, but with compassion, you have to care enough about the person to do something to help them. When Jesus would encounter the crowds, he was often filled with compassion because they were sheep without a shepherd.
When we see someone struggling, we need to look at them through the lease of compassion. Our first reflex shouldn’t be to fix their problem but to share in their sorrow. Our temporary discomfort bearing their burden can be their permanent encouragement. Your listening, praying, and hugs can be the lifeline someone needs at that moment. Don’t attempt to throw money at the problem to fix the problem unless the Lord leads you.
Jesus finishes up this passage by saying that he came for the sinners, not the righteous. That means He shows compassion to those who can’t help themselves. The righteous act like they have it under control and don’t need any help. The sinner is honest about their situation and confesses their need for Jesus. He shows compassion to us because He knows that we are lost without Him. Show compassion to those who need it because Christ showed it to us.