A GOOD REASON FOR COMPASSION
HEBREWS 5:1-2 NKJ
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.
In this book of comparisons, this chapter speaks about Jesus as our high priest. These verses are talking about the high priest under the Old Testament or old covenant.
The high priest under the old covenant was a man who would represent the people and offer the gifts and sacrifices according to Jewish laws.
This high priest was able to be compassionate with the people who were doing stupid things or wandering away from God's commandments. The reason for his compassion was that he was in the same boat. He also was subject to weakness. He also could do stupid things and wander from God. So there was no reason for a high priest to be haughty or condemning.
Of course, Jesus can sympathize with us not because He ever sinned but because He knew what it was to be tempted. (Hebrews 4:15) What stood out to me was a good reason for me to be compassionate with people who miss it. I have never been perfect, so I can understand. And in understanding, I can show compassion.
We are told to not judge and condemn our brothers and sisters in Christ. One reason is that we are not qualified to judge. There is only One who judges righteously.
It will help us to remember that the people we are about to judge are subject to weakness.
Someone sent something to me one day, and when I read it, I was a bit irritated. Then the thought hit me, it had to be the Holy Spirit, that this person was weak in this area. And if I am strong in this area, then I can at least show compassion. So my reply had some kindness to it.
The word compassion in verse two literally means to deal gently with. This would be a good strategy for all of us who are not perfect.
Father, forgive me for ever thinking I am above anyone. It's Your grace and help that have sustained me so I can deal gently with those around me.