Seeing With Jesus Eyes: A Christian Response to the Protests and Riots

I am a pro-life Christian that firmly believes that every human being has been created on purpose and for great purpose in the image of God from conception to grave.  As a follower of Christ, I must love what is most precious to Him, that’s life.  As such, I must stand for truth, and life at all times.  

Last week brought us a video showing the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.  Since that fateful day much has ensued; protests, riots, destruction.  What am I to think of all this as a believer?  How should I process what I am witnessing?  As a follower of Jesus, I look to the scriptures to discern what my Lord would do.  Then I follow Him.  He’s my mentor, my example, and my model.  Matthew 9:36 says this:
" Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.”
           
How you look at people determines a lot and tells us a lot about what's in your heart. When you look at the crowds on TV, what do you see?  Personally,  I think of a lot of things.  And not all of them are good thoughts. This is when it is imperative that I engage the mind of Christ.  That I search the scriptures to see His response.  The Bible says when Jesus looked at the crowd mentioned in scripture, He was moved with compassion because they were hurting, they were helpless, they were like sheep without a shepherd.  By the way, this is exactly how Jesus looks at you and I and all our issues.  He gives compassion. Because life is sacred to our Creator.

Now what does that mean? Well there's a difference between empathy, sympathy and compassion. Sympathy means, "I'm sorry you're hurt." You can send a sympathy card. "I'm sorry you're hurt." A little bit deeper commitment is empathy. Empathy means, "I hurt with you." When I empathize, it's more than, "I'm sorry you're hurt," it's, "I'm hurting with you." But compassion means, "I will do anything I can to stop your hurt." This is what I am calling the Jesus level.  I pray every Christian moves to this level now.  We need a little more of this in our world.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t uphold the rule of law, we should.  But we can see through the physical acts of destruction and see men and women acting out as sheep without a shepherd and have compassion.  Maybe if we did, we wouldn’t be so quick to judge, so quick to disparage, so quick to hate.  

The Bible repeatedly says that when Jesus looked at people who were in pain, he was moved with compassion. Friends, the pain we are seeing come through our screens goes far deeper than the murder of George Floyd.  It’s 400 years of mistrust, injustice, racism, inequality, and brutality in this country towards people of color.  Now, I’m not asking you to agree with the actions of a few who are rioting.  They should be repudiated.  But we must have compassion.  Why?  Because the root issue is sin.  What the sinful actions of some has foisted upon people of color in America and now the sin that has led them to rioting in the streets.  The only true hope is Christ.  The only lasting solution is the gospel.  Yes, law and policies must change, but ultimately the sin of racism and hate won’t be eradicated until hearts have been transformed by the gospel.

You see, Jesus looked down upon this crowd of people we call humanity and had compassion because we were living and acting like a sheep without a shepherd and he said, "I will do anything it takes to stop their hurt, even if it means dying on the cross. Even if it means having nails nailed through my hands and feet." “Even if it means taking their sins upon my back.”  And that’s what He did.  That's compassion.

So what do we do now?  Stop for a moment and see the crowds, see those that don’t look like you, those that don’t live in your neighborhoods, from different backgrounds and cultures as Jesus would see them.  See them as valuable as part of His creation.  See them as a sheep without a shepherd, alone and open to the attacks of the enemy. Satan’s goal according to scripture is to steal, kill and destroy.  That’s exactly what he’s doing.  Believer, have compassion, then act.  How?  Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Jesus is our only hope!
Pastor Chris Williams
Pastor Chris is the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Church
To learn more about Pastor Chris or to view his sermons, got to fcfamily.org.

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