Bible Study: Through the ‘Six Streams’ in the Life of Jesus
Week 4: The Compassionate Life
A life of compassion and justice is easy to desire, but not an easy one to fulfill. As you work through this week’s study, consider who you would be as you place yourself in each story. If we are to ‘follow Jesus’, we must listen to Jesus’ stories of compassion and justice so that we might set our own discomfort aside and truly follow his lead.
Read: Luke 10:25-37 The Good Samaritan
This parable of a man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead was offered as a demonstration of Matthew 22—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself”.
Unlike the others who made excuses for their lack of compassion and justice, the Good Samaritan
not only gave immediate help, but offered on-going help until he was healed. He loved this
unknown “neighbor” with all his heart and soul and strength and mind.
Qt: When have you expressed this kind of compassion and justice toward another?
Qt: Was the response instantaneous or did you hesitate? If so, why?
Read: Luke 16: 19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus
As Lazarus lies slowly dying at the rich man’s gate, the rich owner just steps around rather
than stopping to help. Commentary offers the idea that riches, comfort, and security can harden
ones’ heart toward those in need.
Qt: Are these the only reasons?
Qt: What causes you to be blinded to and ignore the pain and suffering before you?
(I’m asking for honesty here because we are human and do not display
compassion and justice at all times)
In Galatians 5:6 Paul reiterates Jesus’ command of loving God and neighbor—“The only thing that
counts is faith working through love”. Love God, love neighbor.
Read: Luke 14: 1-14 Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
During his years of ministry, Jesus spends most of his time with the poor, the ill, the possessed, and criminals…those who could never repay the grace offered.
Qt: (Being honest again) Consider who is generally on your guest list for a party/special event.
How does that stack up with the list that Jesus gives?
Jesus turns things upside down…God desires us to turn things upside down. Jesus’ story is full of reversals, unexpected hopes, and unexpected possibilities.
Qt: Jesus says to bless people who cannot repay your kindnesses because God will repay
you later. Why is it better to be repaid by God in the life to come?
Qt: Are their rewards in the present life for serving the poor and marginalized?
The Hebrew word hesed means unwavering compassion, steadfast love, lovingkindness. This term describes God’s unceasing love toward God’s people. God’s compassion becomes more real to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ. Even as sinners, we are loved with an unwavering passion, an unceasing love beyond comprehension. God calls us to be that unwavering compassion and unceasing love toward those called beloved by God—the poor, the ill, the abused, and the disenfranchised—those exposed to a cruel and uncaring world.
~If you have time—and who doesn’t have ‘time’ these days—
Read Micah 6: 1-8
Hosea 6: 6
~Pray for God to give you fresh eyes for those in need.
Next week we will look at The Word-Centered Life. Grace and peace to you and yours.