Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More than a Humanitarian

Jesus was moved with compassion for people, and then he did something about it. That is an admirable thing to emulate, to be moved with compassion, to care deeply about the suffering of others and do what is in our power to alleviate it.

What was within Jesus' power was quite significant; it was more than natural power, it was more than running a food drive and handing out blankets; it was supernatural. He healed people, he drove out demons, he raised people to life.

But if it ends at that, that just makes Jesus a humanitarian. A supernaturally gifted humanitarian, but just that.

He was more than that, though. The miracles he performed weren't just to relieve physical suffering. What is the relief of physical pain if the person is still in the dark?

Jesus was all about saving people's lives - but life in the sense of the living word, living waters, the abundant life found when we enter the kingdom of God. The life that is available to experience here and now.

He raised people physically to life, but his whole ministry was pointing people to how to be raised spiritually to life.

As Christians we should of course be in many senses, humanitarians; we should have compassion for people, be moved to help them and care for them. But we should be remembering the ultimate gift we can give people is not physical. Alleviating poverty, or even seeing miraculous works, is not our end goal.

We are not interested in merely an outward imitation of Jesus, but to show how are lives and hearts are truly changed by his love.

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