2 Cor 1:3-5 NIV
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. For
just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so
also through Christ our comfort overflows.
Col 3:1-12 TLB
In this new life one's nationality or race or education or
social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing.
Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally
available to all. Since you have been chosen by God who
has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep
love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted
mercy and kindness to others. Don't worry about making a good
impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and
1 Th 5:14 TLB
Dear brothers, warn those who are lazy, comfort those who are
frightened, take tender care of those who are weak, and be
patient with everyone.
Compassion can only come from a thankful
crippled rebel veteran of the civil war comes to the McCain
ranch looking for a drink of water and perhaps a job. The
man is bitter because of his past injury in the war, and
physically not well. He still has his pride, which he
guards well. Mark wants to have nothing to do with him
because of his appearance and attitude, and Lucas realizes his
own aversion to the unkempt man. But Lucas hires the man,
in part to clear their consciences. Later, when a band of
union soldiers come to bunk for the night, the rebel soldier
finds healing from a very unlikely source.
The Rifleman: ‘The
Sheridan Story’ Episode 16, originally aired 1/13/59
Teacher Reminder: Preview episode before class!
Define Compassion, or ask
for definitions. DEFINITION:
ministering to the brokenness of
someone’s life and not condemn them for their unholiness.
Literally, suffering with another
Q. Tell of a time
when kindness was given to you at a time when you really needed
Q. Do you
think a compassionate society
possible and, if so, what does it look like?
compassion without action.
Q. What is the
difference between compassion and pity?
Agape, the love the Lord
requires of all His followers is a self-sacrificing love that is
not fulfilled apart from action (cf. 1 John 3:18).
It is our contention that genuine biblical
compassion is an integral part of this kind of love.
Jesus, the sinless model of
agape, demonstrated His genuine compassion on many
occasions (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Luke 7:12-15).
As we grow spiritually, God's
love being perfected in us (1 John 4:12), we will be
increasingly “moved with compassion” by the various difficulties
we see our neighbors experiencing. A good example of this is
recorded in the book of Hebrews, where the writer informs us
that his brethren's compassionate response to his “chains”
compelled them to experience the “spoiling” or “plundering” of
their own goods for his sake (Hebrews 10:34).
Materialistically speaking, compassion is “quite dangerous.”
And that is a beautiful thing.
What kind of healing did
Mark bring to Frank Blanden?
What kind of healing did
What kind of healing did
Lucas attempt to bring to Blanden?
List Blanden’s “ailments.”
Have you ever had similar
What healing(s) did Sheridan
(of all people!) bring to Frank Blanden?
Q. How did Sheridan’s actions
With this episode you have many attitudes towards the
downtrodden displayed. Young Mark wants to dismiss it
entirely as if it doesn’t exist. Lucas wants to as well
but his conscience won’t let him. Sheridan’s own men look
too much upon the rebel soldier’s rank. It is Sheridan who
cuts though the muck and heaps avenues of healing out of his own
surprising tenderness and physical resources. Healings far
beyond the poor soldier’s ability to comprehend or even wish
for. That is how it is with Christ. That’s how we,
with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, should help others.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they
were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with
actions and in truth.
Instead, speaking the truth in
love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head,
that is, Christ.
In 1 John 3:18, the apostle
adds yet another factor to love. Not only must we love in
deed, but we must also love in truth. Love without
truth is sweet, syrupy, and weak as sugar water. But, on the
other hand, truth without love can often be quite destructive
(cf. Ephesians 4:15). Therefore, compassion, in order to be
authentic, functions somewhere between these two hurtful
extremes. True compassion exhibits the love of the truth and the
truth of love that are characteristics of New Testament
Too many Christians
tend to either naively think that compassion is either:
Always sugary sweet and,
bypassing all truth, never condemnatory
that no one is a worthy candidate of it.
-- Discuss how Sheridan
applied truth to the Rebel veteran soldier.
Compassion is neither naive
nor cynical. It is, instead, the glue that holds Christianity
together, allowing it to be gentle and tender without
deteriorating into mere sentimentality, and sacrificial without
Concerning the world’s view of compassion, listen to the words
of Pastor Allen Turner, Cincinnati.
“Those who pride themselves
as combatants in the so-called “war on crime” want us to believe
that the difficulties people face today are somehow unique and
much more complicated and perverse than at any other time in
history. Although many in our society have been indoctrinated
with this lie, it simply is not true! 17th-, 18th-, and
19th-century America had it all: alcoholism, drug addiction,
illegitimacy, crime, unemployment, spousal and child abuse,
social upheaval, and grinding poverty. What then was and is the
difference? Simply this: In the past, those involved in charity
were individuals who had a frank, clear-headed, compassionate,
but unsentimental, view of human nature. They believed there
were some genuinely poor who were truly deserving of charity
These were beggarly (i.e.,
destitute, helpless, and powerless) through no fault of their
own. On the other hand, these charitable individuals and
organizations knew that much poverty resulted when individuals,
of their own free wills, chose destructive paths (alcohol and
vice); that such erring individuals should and could, with God's
help, change course; that all able to work must do so (2
Thessalonians 3:10); that those who helped should freely give of
their time and love; and that money alone, given
indiscriminately, was poisonously destructive. Today, cut off
from its religious moorings, the modern state sees itself as the
engine of progress and the vehicle of man's salvation.
individual-by-individual, person-to-person work of the past is
seen as too slow of a process. Relief needs to be universal and
immediate. Disagreeing with the idea that most poverty is the
result of vice, freely chosen, the state believes people are
basically good and that the elimination of poverty is possible
through the “redistribution of wealth.” Furthermore, the modern
state seems convinced that the sooner charitable work is rid of
the bothersome claptrap of religion, the better everyone will
be. As a result, true compassion is quite rare.”
Consider the world in which we
live. Compassion is not, as some seem to think, a public
relations campaign. Neither is it
simply an emotion. It is, instead, a Divinely inspired
action compelled by three things:
Moral outrage, and
The capacity to
truly identify with the object of one's compassion.
these three elements were a part of current sentiment, then the
modern welfare state, as we have come to know it, would not
Who in your
life needs a compassionate touch this week? Is there a
rebel in your life that needs your understanding compassionate