Sunday Sermon: “Jesus Came with Compassion: How the Heart of Jesus Brings Hope to Many” (Mark 1:29-45)

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Buffet restaurants. Golden Corrals were favorites for me because they had steak–and a good steak. In Lexington (my last stop on the ministry train), there was a restaurant by the local Walmart called the China Buffet. That buffet was nice because it had a large variety, not just Chinese food (at least the American iteration of it). Sometimes when you’re presented with a meal, you have at least one, maybe two items on your plate that you don’t care for. Buffets allow you to avoid those things–taking only what you like, leaving what you don’t like.

I sense that we do this with Jesus. He’s not a buffet or a smorgasbord where we pick and choose the aspects we like and disregard the parts we don’t. Here’s where we often make this mistake. In previous sermons out of Mark, we see how Jesus came preaching with a specific message about his mission: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Him going to the synagogue to preach the Word resonates with many in our faith tradition. Even a recognition that he was tempted resonates with us as well. Some lean toward the preaching of and belief in the truth of Scripture. Others however see another aspect of Jesus that sees his love and compassion.

Two weeks ago (the last time we were in the Gospel of Mark), Jesus healed a man possessed by a demon. And, as we read in this passage, Jesus healed those who were sick–and even someone with leprosy. For you, this is the Jesus you would choose–someone with love, compassion, and alleviating suffering in the world.

Which Jesus do you choose? Well, there is only one Jesus, isn’t there? He’s not a buffet or a smorgasbord. He’s Christ, the one who speaks truth in love, and who engages in loving truth. In this passage, Jesus comes with compassion. R.C Sproul noted that this type of compassion is filled not only with care but also tinged with anger at the present system of the world that leads to such brokenness.

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