Gospel vs. Religion, part 3

Christianity without the compassion of Jesus is just empty religion. Mark 2:5-12 reveals that Jesus was concerned for people. This is one reason he healed. His compassion for others is a pillar of what real Christianity should be about. The gospel requires that we be concerned about helping people.

This passage says Jesus was home. I don’t know about you, but if someone busted a whole in my roof, I’m not sure I’d remain calm and help the. Even if you could tell me that the houses in 1st century Capernaum had roof access, like a sun roof or something, they still interrupted his sermon. The compassion Jesus had for others is striking. Without it, your religion is empty.

Jesus’ greatest concern was for people’s sin. The main reason he healed people was to help people with their sin. And often times He helped societies biggest sinners, even when it was unpopular to do. To top it off, the people He helped weren’t always looking for the kind of help He offered. These men were not looking for forgiveness, but help for their friend. Jesus helped people who were not looking for forgiveness.

God, give us gospel growth to become compassionate people. Have you ever turned someone away because they were not interested in your message? Do you think people must show interest in God in order for it to be right to help them? That may be acceptable for empty religion, but its not consistent with the gospel. When was the last time you helped someone who was hard to like? When was the last time you took care of someone’s physical needs while patiently trying to help them understand the gospel and their need for forgiveness? If we are really growing in the gospel, compassion will be a characteristic people will see in us. Otherwise, we are just settling for empty religion.

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