Compassion has truly gone to the dogs. Recently, every national news network broadcast covered the Chicago "Doggy Daycare" drama where 7 dogs were taken in a carjacking. For 24 hours the focus of news casts and social media was these snatched, lost dogs. There was a great outpouring of compassion about the dogs who might freeze to death in record cold temperatures. Thankfully, the dogs were found, safe and sound, in the abandoned minivan and are back with their anxious owners. Animal lovers everywhere could identify with the tearful reunion of owners and animals.
Jesus told the papable of a lost animal in Luke 15. He knew that this would get the attention of those listening. His audience could easily identify with their inclination to save an endangered animal. But it becomes clear very quickly that Jesus was talking about much more than an animal rescue.
The introduction to His set of parables begins with the words, "Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear Him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." The crowd listening to Jesus that day had a problem with their compassion, or should I say, lack of it.
In fact they had more compassion on a lost sheep than they did on the people around them who desperately needed Christ's love and transforming power. They even put Jesus down for having anything to do with "tax collectors and sinners." Jesus had come to lay down His life for everyone, including the most unlovable or most inaccessible people on earth.
It is time for us to take a compassion check up. How much do we care for those people around us, especially people who are not in "our circle" of friends or outside our "comfort zone"? At Reach A Village we are on the greatest rescue mission in history. We are seeking to reach those people in remote villages and communities in 20 countries who have never yet heard about Jesus.
Jesus' story talks about leaving the 99 sheep to rescue the 1 lost sheep. In many of the countries where we serve, there is only 1 sheep that is safe in Jesus' fold. There is only 1 sheep that is not lost and we are out attempting to rescue the 99 who are lost. That answers the question, "What would Jesus do?" Luke 19:10 (NLT)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."
*A special thanks to Katie and her dog, "Duncan" who loves to be near her when she reads the Bible.