Friday, March 10, 2017

Miracles and compassion

There is an interesting side discussion to the record of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead -- the Gospel of John, Chapter 11. Whether Lazarus was in Abraham's bosom, Paradise or Heaven (in whatever manner one interprets them, whether they are all the same or not) Lazarus must have been in a better, more peaceful, less painful place. 

We tend to interpret most of the miracles of Jesus as acts of compassion that made life better for the one who benefited from the miracle. And certainly the Bible suggests that in many places.

  • Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
  • Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
  • Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
  • Mark 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
  • Mark 9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
  • Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

In this case of Lazarus, though, it seems the beneficiary was not particularly Lazarus -- who came back from a better place to a worse place -- but his family and friends who mourned his loss, and especially those who believed on Jesus because of the miracle (Cf. John 12:10-11). What say ye?

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