15 Minutes With Jesus / Robert Haymes
Compassion And Forgiveness
Greetings in the name of Jesus! This is Rob Haymes. This is 15 Minutes With Jesus. Today’s program is on Compassion And Forgiveness. Let’s turn to Mat 18:21-35, Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all. Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe! So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all. And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses. The word COMPASSION in these scriptures means, to have the heart yearn, to feel sympathy, or to pity.
Now I want to include an excerpt from my beloved Brother Paul Merkle’s book, Jesus Christ, Who Is He?: just a few words from the section entitled Jesus, The Compassionate One: Mat 9:36, When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. “He had compassion for them.” To have compassion is to feel pity. It is a combination of two Latin words: com, which means “together”, and pati, “to suffer”, that is “to suffer together”, to enter into another person’s sorrow, shame, or need with the urge to help. It is deep sympathy, a feeling of togetherness with another’s need, like one instrument of an orchestra fits into another to produce beautiful music. It is the outpouring of one’s love as we find it in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul writes: Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on it’s own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
Let’s turn to Luke 10:25-37, The Parable of the Good Samaritan, And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? So he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this and you will live. But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Then Jesus answered and said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. The Apostle James wrote, For he shall have judgment without mercy who has shown no mercy.
Let’s turn to Exo 34:5-8, This is where the Lord God appeared unto Moses and walked before him and proclaimed His name: Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation. So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. The first thing that God said to Moses, when He proclaimed His name, about Himself, is that He is merciful, merciful and gracious.
Let’s turn to Matthew chapter 5, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, in verse 7, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. And in verses 9-15 of chapter 6, the Lord said, In this manner therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. How many people go to fellowship and worship the Lord, and there is something not right between them and another person, or with them and God? Let’s turn to Psalms 32:1-5, Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. I’m going to say this right here while I’m thinking of it: It says, …in whose spirit there is no deceit. Ok, if you have unforgiveness toward someone, and you’re a Christian, and you think you’re ok, that is deceit in your heart; that is not true. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
There may be someone in your life that has hurt you so badly, or did you so wrong, that you feel like you cannot forgive them. You must forgive them, or you will not be forgiven, and if you are not forgiven, you are not going to Heaven. Don’t deceive yourself! If you refuse to forgive them, you are just like the servant in Mat 18:28-30. Your Lord and Master was merciful and gracious to you when you were lost and dead in trespasses and sins and headed for eternal damnation, and you cried out to Him for mercy. He had compassion on you, and, because of the sacrifice of His beloved Son on the Cross at Calvary for your sins, He forgave you and He cleansed you in Jesus’ precious Blood, and made you His son or His daughter. After all that He has done for you, and had compassion on you to forgive you and save you, will you now throw your brother or your sister or family member into the prison of your unforgiveness and hold them there in your judgment and contempt? If you refuse to forgive them, God will deal with you just as He said He would: Should you not have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? And his Lord was angry and delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses. Remember how Jesus taught us to pray: …forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. You say, “I can’t! I just can’t forgive what they did to me, or to my loved one!” Are you willing? Will you even consider how critical this is for you and your brother or sister?
I want to tell, briefly, a story about Corrie Ten Boom. Many of you have heard of Corrie Ten Boom. Perhaps, if you are reading this, and you haven’t heard of her: She and her family, with God’s help, were responsible for saving over 800 Jews from the Nazis during World War II in Holland. They took them into their home until they could find a safe place for them, and they cared for many Jewish people. While they were doing this, there was a Dutchman named Jan Vogel who was betraying his own countrymen to the Gestapo for a fee. He was making money betraying his fellow Dutch countrymen to the Germans, and those people ended up being sent to concentration camps, and many of them died. So, one day, Jan Vogel paid a visit to the Ten Boom house. He told Corrie a lie that he needed a large sum of money to get his wife out of jail and that she was a Jew. It was all a lie, and , unfortunately they believed his story and they came up with the money, and the next thing they knew, the Gestapo raided their house and they were arrested and sent to prison and later to the concentration camps. Corrie lost most of her family in the concentration camps. She was released by a miracle of God. While she was in the concentration camp her sister Betsy ministered to her many times that she needed to forgive Jan Vogel, and Corrie ended up crying out to God and asking Him to help her to forgive Jan, and by the grace of God, she forgave him for what he did to their family, and to many other people. One day, after the war, she heard that Jan Vogel was in prison for his crimes against the Dutch people, and that he was soon going to be executed. When Corrie heard about this, she wrote to him in prison and she told him, I want you to know that I have forgiven you for what you did to my family. And Jan Vogel was so moved by her forgiveness that he turned to the Lord and he became a Christian. He got born again; he got saved, when he saw the love of God in Corrie’s heart: that she was able to forgive him. He wrote back to her and he told her what happened, and he wrote, I was so amazed that you were able to forgive me, after all that I did to you and your family, that I turned to the Lord, and I want you to know that I’m a Christian now. It was a matter of days and he was executed. See how the love of God, and the forgiveness of God worked! It was not easy for Corrie to forgive this man; it was very hard! But she called upon the Lord and He helped her to forgive him, and see how this man’s life was changed! Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. Show mercy, and you shall obtain mercy.