Friday, September 01, 2006

The Servant Messiah 12

Power and Compassion To All - Luke 7:1-17
Messiah’s mission would not have limits. It was for everyone. A Roman military officer over a hundred occupation soldiers had a servant on the death bed. He represents the hated oppressor, but he himself has shown compassion on the Jews in Capernaum by helping them erect their Synagogue. The twelve stand by as messengers from the Roman arrrive. The Centurean wants to save the Jew from the embarraashment of entering a Roman’s home: "Just say the word and my servant will be healed." Messiah’s compassion cannot be restrained when human suffering makes direct contact with him. Moreover, the twelve need to know that God’s compassion is for foreigners as well.
On the following day the town of Nain in foreign territory not far from Messiah’s birthplace was disturbed by a tragedy that struck in their midst. A widow had lost her only son, a young man on whom she depended so much after her husband’s death. The community is moved with compassion for her and Messiah cannot restrain his love. His power restores the son to the mother and to the community.
This unusual miracle made a stir throughout the region and kindled Messianic hopes into flame. The news even reached John the Baptist in prison. The prophet sends messengers: "Are you the Promised One?" Messiah points them to the events that have transpired: the blind see, the deaf hear, the poor hear the good news describing the the Servant’s mission in Isaiah. Furthermore, the leper is cleansed and recently the dead are raised. These are signs of power and compassion. After John’s disciples have left Messiah speaks to the Twelve and the gathered people :John is indeed the forerunner, the voice of one crying in the wilderness."
If Messianic feeling had wavered. It now burst into flame. The recent restoration of the widow’s son with Messiah’s answer to John left no doubt. Messiah knew their expectations and hopes. They wanted a dramatic reversal of the present political situation. Their focus was on power. They were not expecting something far more valuable and permanent, the spiritual power of love and compassion.. The record was clear. The Servant Messiah was compassion.


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