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This is Not Weakness

Mike

Scriptures: Isaiah 42:1-4 Isaiah 49:15-16 Luke 7:11 Colossians 3:12-13

In the book of Isaiah there are so many glimpses into the compassion of God as He looks upon His people. Here is love and gentleness in action, not raising your voice among the people, always looking for the bruised reeds and the smoking flax who are everywhere in life that could be easily and grievously damaged by the harshness of this world. Here is the Father who likens Himself to a nursing mother who will never abandon His children.

When Jesus was born into this world, He came to display this compassion, to reflect it for all around Him to see. In Luke’s gospel is the encounter Jesus had with the widow of Nain. How gentle Jesus was with the widow who had lost her son, restoring the boy to life and back to his mother. His compassion was again clearly seen with the woman with the bleeding who had suffered for so many years. She had broken all the rules in her desperate attempt to be healed and live a normal life. Jesus knew power had gone out of Him, and out of love, tenderness and compassion He healed her once and for all.

More examples that shine out the love that knows no limits include Jairus, the leader who saw his daughter raised from the dead. When Jesus healed the servant of the Centurion it is interesting to see how the Roman recognised the authority that Jesus carried that was displayed through His gentleness and tenderness. Jesus showed the ultimate compassion with the criminal on the cross and with Peter who had betrayed Him, not only once but three times. How gentle and mild Jesus was in all of these situations.

When the Jewish nation thought about the Messiah, their expectation was of a mighty, warrior Saviour who would free them from the tyranny of their oppressors. What they saw in Jesus was nothing like what they expected. What they failed to recognise was that this compassion, gentleness and meekness was not a sign of weakness, it was the complete opposite.

Jesus was the Visible Rock of the Invisible Mountain. Taking on the form of a man did not mean He had given up any of the power and authority that was His by right as One of the Triune God. What He did on earth was filled with the power but it was demonstrated through His compassion and love. Even when He turned out the money changers in the temple, He demonstrated the compassion He had for those who were being prevented by the trading from entering the Court of the Gentiles where they were meant to be worshipping.

Using Jesus as our example, we need to remember that our motive for moving in the power of God that has been entrusted to us, must be compassion. Paul made it clear when he wrote in chapter 3 of his letter to the Colossians:

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Prayer: God, help us to demonstrate Your power the way Your Son Jesus did, by showing compassion, love and tenderness, not using this power as a weapon or a performance but as an outpouring of Your love. Amen

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