Compassion Without Compromise

by DanWolgemuth on August 1, 2008

430 people. Mostly high school students. Primarily disenfranchised from a meaningful relationship with God. Some addicted. Some abused. Some angry. Some tortured with shame. Some bolstered by a worship of self. Some guarded. Some vulnerable. Some callused. Some tender and ready.

On Sunday evening I will walk onto a small stage, in front of a group of teenagers that don’t know who I am, and I will begin to offer the priceless words of hope. My anticipation of this moment transports me to the encounter of Jesus that is recorded in John 8 where a sinful, broken and shamed woman is brought in front of Him. She’s the object of the classroom dissection, without formaldehyde. Her tears wet their thirst for vengeance.

Unlike the four friends of the paralyzed man in Mark 2, these people used this woman to trap and test Jesus. An adulterous woman was expendable for their purposes. She was simply a means to an end for their purposes; the disposable part of the exam.

Skillfully, patiently, quietly Jesus answered the question without destroying the object. A guinea pig to her accusers, a soul to be redeemed to Jesus. Over and over in the encounters of Jesus He demonstrates His love for the outcast. He dips deeply and liberally into the well of His love and He dispenses His grace to the marginalized.

Every action of Christ is consistent; each response aligns perfectly to the purposes of His mission. His classroom answer to the religious leaders in Matthew 22 about the greatest commandment? matches every result He models in the laboratory of real life.

Love God. Love each other.

Sunday night, when I look into the faces of strangers, I want to feel the deep compassion of Jesus. I want love without judgment. I want obedience without compromise.

430 people. To the mountains of Colorado. For healing and hope. No one expendable. No one too broken.

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