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Imagine encountering some of the people that Jesus encountered during His lifetime. Would you respond like Jesus did? Imagine coming face-to-face with a leper, a woman with a blood malady of 12 years, a woman caught in adultery, beggars, ingrates, disfigured and unsightly invalids, numerous diseased, tricksters, spoiled rich brats, a traitor, hateful and violent soldiers, a cowardly king, a spineless governor, etc., etc. How would you treat them? We can learn much from our Great Example!

Jesus was humble! How difficult it must have been for the Son of God to lower Himself before His own creation! It is an awe-inspiring scene indeed to picture Jesus as He “began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them” (John 13:15). The humility of Christ is set forth in exemplary detail for us in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” This was the mind of our Lord (v. 5). The humble heart says, “I am not better than you!”

Jesus was respectful! How difficult it must have been for the Son of Man to be respectful of His imperfect creations as so many of them were disrespectful of Him! There were those who intentionally and repeatedly sought to test Him (Matt. 16:1); those who would not leave Him alone (Matt. 14:13-14); those who bound Him, treated Him like a criminal, put Him on mock trials, struck Him, insulted Him, scourged Him and crucified Him. Yet, what was Jesus’ response? How did He treat those who mistreated Him so severely? “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return” (1 Pet. 2:23). When He had opportunity to put His enemies in their place and destroy them, He “kept silent” (Matt. 26:63; Isa. 53:7). He broke His silence only to say things like, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). The respectful heart says, “I will be considerate of you no matter what!”

Jesus was compassionate! How difficult it must have been at times for the human side of Jesus to maintain a heart of compassion for the cruel and heartless self-seekers. Yet, Jesus did not just “possess” compassion (if such could be merely possessed), but He “exhibited” compassion. Scripture says that “He was moved with compassion” for the multitudes (Matt. 9:36). His sympathetic feeling of pity for His shepherd-less creation was so deep that He could not but do something to alleviate their distress. The compassionate heart says, ”I feel for you and I want to help you!”

Brethren, how humble, respectful and compassionate are we? Do we seek to treat others the way our Lord did?

David Sproule
Crosbyton church of Christ
Crosbyton, TX

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