Saturday, December 31, 2011

Compassion and restoration

When John the Baptist's disciples come to Jesus to ask if he is the one who was to come, he tells them to watch and report back what they see:
'And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.'
All the things Jesus tells them to report on are restorations: the blind have their sight restored, the deaf have their hearing restored, the dead have their life restored and in the same sentence, the poor have the good news preached to them. Because this is a type of restoration as well, the poor in spirit have the life-giving good news of the gospel spoken to them. Their spiritual needs are ministered to, as much as the physical blind, deaf and dead. As Jesus meets their physical needs, he also goes on to meet their spiritual needs. Jesus knows what they truly need, but also that the physical is comfort for us. In the previous chapter we read that Jesus had compassion on a widow whose son had died and brought him back to life. This wasn't just a show of power, this was compassion. This section in Luke paints us part of a picture of who Jesus is; compassionate, knowing our needs and seeking to meet them as they truly are.