Bible Study: Compassion
Pastor Aaron Mueller
My wife and I just wanted to get home. Being gone for several days, suitcases, then a delayed flight on our already-late return made us long for our normal surroundings again. But the drive home was anything but typical.
Shortly after leaving the airport, we slowed to acknowledge the approaching red light. Then, in what seemed like an eternity and at the same time an instant, an SUV navigating the intersection at about 50 miles an hour began to take flight. The vehicle lifted several feet into the air, spinning so that now the four tires, gas tank and dark underside of the car were visible to our sight. Gravity quickly brought the vehicle back to earth, smashing steel, shattering glass, and stunning our souls. Finally, friction forced it to a stop.
Since there were two cars between us and the accident, I was wondering what our compassionate role would be. That was answered immediately. The light turned green, and those cars began to drive forward right over the glass, around the bumpers in the road, and right on their way.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the
prophets and stone those sent to you, how often
I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing! [Luke 13:34]
1. I have heard of accidents where people could not be rescued. Have you ever witnessed one where people needed help and wouldn’t accept it?
2. How is Jesus’ compassion for people inwardly evident from this passage?
3. Notice the verb tenses. How long has Jesus held this attitude?
4. Consider the time and effort it takes just to raise up just one prophet. How are God’s compassion and patience related?
5. How is Jesus’ compassion for people outwardly evident?
6. What is so important that God even put the lives of the prophets on the line to give it?
After calling 911, several of us raced to the hatch of the SUV as it lay on its driver’s side. If it didn’t open, we weren’t sure what help we could offer. Though smashed, the door swung on its hinges. An injured and frantic woman was striving to escape. From within she pleaded for help. I extended my right arm to her. She gripped it and was brought to safety.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and
the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all
our troubles, so that we can comfort those in
any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have
received from God. [2 Corinthians 1:3,4]
7. The best salesman is a satisfied customer. How has God settled our own lives?
8. A chance auto accident brought strangers together to help the helpless. God’s compassion to us in Jesus is no accident. How does it shape our lives?
9. How does God equip His people to help? What does He lead us to say?
1. Various answers. 2. He longed to help. It was his intent and desire. 3. The verbs are past tense. This attitude has been throughout history. 4. God waits lifetime after lifetime and has persisted in patience to bring his compassion to people. 5. He continued to send prophets, even himself, in spite of persecution. 6. The message of law and especially the gospel about Jesus. 7. We have his full compassion, his full comfort in Jesus. It is ours in him. 8. I have something to offer, something to share, something to give—Jesus’ comfort for any trouble. 9. He trains us by his Word: shaping attitudes, overcoming weakness, even training our tongues to respond. 10. He leads us to point people ultimately to the God of all comfort in Jesus Christ. He is the help for every trouble.
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