John Ortberg begins Chapter 3 (“A Revolution in Humanity”) of Who is This Man? by observing that Jesus could be a very irritating person to be around. This comment is particularly noteworthy because compassion probably is Jesus’ best known quality. Referencing Luke’s account of Jesus’ invitation to eat at the house of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath (Luke 14: 1-13), Pastor Ortberg discusses Jesus’ healing of a man with dropsy (edema), who also was present at the meal.
The author believes that the legalism of Judaism wasn’t at issue because Jesus was a rabbi and loved the Torah. The relevant issue was the innate worth of a human being. Jesus, Pastor Ortberg states, loves us so much that He counts the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10: 30). At the end of His meal at the Pharisee’s house, Jesus had some telling advice for His host:
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The author adds: “In the face of deliberately ignored suffering, he (Jesus) is not a highly sensitive compassionate person. He is a highly irritated compassionate person.” In the face to the insensitive notification of our vocation loss and the calculated disregard for our worth as human beings, Jesus reminds us of our treasured identity as His children.
Today’s question: What was the most painful part of your ministry downsizing or career loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The place of honor”