“compassion, a sympathetic awareness of another’s suffering or adversity coupled with a desire to lessen it.”
Have You heard it said…”knowledge is power!” NO! i modify that expression to ACCURATE knowledge is power! Power to do the compassionate/appropriate thing at the appropriate/needed time!
Why should the topic of compassion interest you? Because the Bible urges you to imitate Jehovah. (Eph. 5:1 “Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children,”) Yet, while humans were created to be compassionate, our imperfection as descendants of Adam inclines us toward self-interest. Sometimes we may find that it is not easy to decide whether we will help others or concentrate on ourselves. For some, this is an ongoing conflict, or a balancing act. What can help you to develop and maintain your interest in others?
Mental-health experts say that practicing compassion can improve your health, well-being, and relationships. When you relieve the suffering of others, you will feel happier, more optimistic, less lonely, and less inclined to think negative thoughts. Yes, your showing compassion will benefit you. (Eph. 4:31, 32 “Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious.32 But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.”)
Christians who lovingly seek to help others are rewarded with a good conscience, knowing that they are acting in harmony with godly principles. Having such a disposition makes for a more caring parent, a better spouse, and a better friend. Those who are quick to show compassion are, in turn, more likely to receive help and support when they need it.—Read Matthew 5:7 “Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.”; Luke 6:38 “Practice giving, and people will give to you. They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.” [excerpts: Imitate Jehovah’s Compassion w 2017]
In what ways today can i be less self-concerned and more concerned with Others’ interests? In what added ways can i give more freely?
Practice makes…”better”…everyone feels better when shown compassion, eh? 🙂
why can’t i just go about my business, my life…and forget about you!!
you can’t help it, can ya?? (nope)
bunnies can’t help being bunnies (fluffy/cuddly)
crocodiles can’t help being crocodiles (snappy)
and butterflies, butterflies
would it be nice IF i could just FLY away……………………………………………………………..ugh.
flowers can’t help being flowers (fragrant)
and plants, plants
doggies, doggies and
everybody’s hungry, thirsty, whatever, whatever…
spiritually, physically and emotionally/mentally
i sound so arrogant!…i know (aka understand to some degree) compassionately caring/and/or giving is another word for “privilege.” Cause the capacity to care (help) be aware…on a deeper level…(i think) springs from a vast (spiritual) wealth.
5/5/17 @ 9:29 p.m.
believe me, i am really nothing
(just caring (may be cause i can)/doing what i should be)
and maybe i should being doing MORE…(being kind-er to all kinds, etc) justice means…compassion; (i think/feel.)
5/5/17 @ 9:33 p.m.
God, just writing this (post)…i am? so self-absorbed..i am making myself sick.
Greetings Reader(s):) aka Fellow-Fragile-Life or Breathing-Fragile-Life or Beautiful-Breathing-Fragile-Fellows 🙂 All life is precious, fragile, and beautiful, eh? All life needs to be respected, huh? (Oh, and appreciated.)
I was thinking about language since always working on being a better communicator, in particular, of compassion and agape love. What is the most challenging language to learn, adopt, practice culture, etc?…perhaps, in some ways, it is indeed compassion..which calls for total immersion, active and passive listening and learning indirectly and directly…sacrifice, discomfort, pain and participation/determination and lots of WORK!..and continuous on-going education of one sort or another…it calls for change, transformation and transcendence.
Some days are tough lessons like visiting a younger woman in hospice with a young kid about to lose his mother to cancer…or may be it is attempting to learn a rather difficult actual language of a minority group living in your area…or may be? its putting the best interests of Others over your own interests or losing sleep or food to help at odd hours or share whatever you have that someone may desperately need! It’s a bunch of random and organized doings…and talkings and communications, and learnings, logistics, etc. It’s a willingness to voluntarily be there…when/if needed 24/7 eh?! (It’s learning to help yourself, not hurt yourself, and help others and not hurt others in the process of living this life.) It’s acts of selflessness, etc…which painstakingly don’t come easy.
i am exhausted/more than fatigued physically and mentally and have pushed myself cause may be? it is true: “no pain, no gain”… am making not much sense at the moment in my writing, huh?? forget grammar, forget definitions, forget expectations, forget………………my obvious lack of adequate vocabulary to truly explain what is in my heart at the moment..
what little i’ve come to learn…COMPASSION is all-encompassing and it is time (or whatever else) well-spent!!!!!!:)
and life-altering…(for the better)
PEACE PEOPLE & Happy Compassionate Week-end to You All Near and Far!
IMAGINE the eyes of the blindseeing, the ears of the deaf hearing every sound, the tongue of the speechless singing out with joy, and the feet of the lame being firm and able to walk about! We are talking, not about breakthroughs in medical science, but about the results of God’s own intervention in behalf of mankind. The Bible foretells: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.” (Isaiah 35:5, 6) But how can we be sure that this truly amazing prophecy will be realized?
To begin with, when Jesus Christ was on earth, he actually did cure people of all forms of disease and disabilities. Furthermore, most of his miracles were seen by many witnesses—even by his enemies. In fact, in at least one instance, skeptical opposers thoroughly investigated a healing in order to discredit Jesus. But much to their chagrin, all they did was confirm his miracle. (John 9:1, 5-34) After Jesus performed yet another undeniable miracle, they said in frustration: “What are we to do, because this man performs many signs?” (John 11:47) The common people, however, were not as insensitive, for many began to put faith in Jesus.—John 2:23; 10:41, 42; 12:9-11. (excerpted: How Disabilities Will End W02)
What makes a person/man GREAT?! (magic tricks? stirring speeches?)
Can any man unquestionably be called the greatest man who ever lived? How do you measure a man’s greatness? By his military genius? his physical strength? his mental prowess?
The historian H.G. Wells said that a man’s greatness can be measured by ‘what he leaves to grow, and whether he started others to think along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him.’ […] “By this test Jesus stands first.”
Alexander the Great, Charlemagne (styled ‘the Great even in his lifetime), and Napoleon Bonaparte were powerful rulers. By their formidable presence, they wielded great influence over those they commanded. Yet Napoleon is reported to have said: “Jesus Christ has influenced and commanded His subjects without His visible bodily presence.”
Ask yourself: Could a person who never lived have affected human history so remarkably? The reference work, The Historians’ History of the World, observed: The historical result of [Jesus’] activities was more momentous, even from a strictly secular standpoint, than the deeds of any other character of history. A new era, recognised by the chief civilisations of the world, dates from his birth.”
Even calendars today are based on the year that Jesus was thought to have been born, “Dates before that year are listed as B.C., or before Christ,” explains The World Book Encyclopedia. “Dates after that year are listed as A.D., or anno Domini (in the year of our Lord).”
Although references to Jesus Christ by early secular historians are meager, such references do exist. Cornelius Tactitus, a respected first-century Roman historian, wrote: “The name [Christian] is derived from Christ, whom the procurator Pontius Pilate had executed in the reign of Tiberius.” Suetonis and Pliny the Younger, other Roman writers of the time, also referred to Christ. In addition, Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian wrote of James, whom he identified as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”
The New Encyclopedia Britannica thus concludes “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.” (Excerpts: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.“
Was Christ God? What did Jesus say about himself? What did Friends/Followers/Contemporaries, who knew him well, say? Or Non-Christians? (What can we learn from an unprejudiced study/examination of the Gospels?)
Please notice these points from the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived: (my highlights)
“I do nothing of my own initiative,” Jesus explained, “but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” (John 8:28). He carefully imitated his heavenly father.
Thus, the apostle John acknowledged that “no man has seen God,” he could still write that “God is love.” (John1:18; 1 John 4:8) John could do this because he knew God’s love through what he saw in Jesus, who was the perfect reflection of his Father. Jesus was compassionate, kind, humble and approachable. The weak and downtrodden felt comfortable with him, as did people of all kinds–men, woman, children, the rich, the poor, the powerful, even (so-called) gross sinners.”
Jesus did not merely teach his followers to love one another, but he showed them how. “Just as I have loved you,” he said, “you also [should] love one another.” (John 13:34) Knowing the “the love of the Christ,” explained one of his apostles, “surpasses knowledge.” (Ephesians 3:19) Yes, the love Christ demonstrated ascends above academic head knowledge and “compels” others to respond to it. (2 Corinthians 5:14) Thus, Jesus’ surpassing example of love, in particular, is what made him the greatest man who ever lived. His love has touched the hearts of millions through the centuries and has influenced their lives for the good.
Yet, some may object: ‘Look at all the crimes that have been committed in the name of Christ–the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the wars that have seen millions who claim to be Christian kill one another on opposing battle lines.’ But the truth is, these people belie their claim to be followers of Jesus. His teachings and way of life condemn their actions. A Hindu, Mohandas Gandhi, was moved to say: ‘I love Christ, but I despise Christiansbecause they do not live as Christ lived.’
Jesus lived to serve others..”to minister and not to be ministered to”…(that’s the key to GREAT leadership. Jesus’ leadership skills, perhaps, ? fodder for part 6?) He unselfishly cared for their pressing needs…not just their physical concerns, but more importantly their spiritual concerns. Yes, his first followers were fishermen…and Yeah, he got them fish/aka food, more importantly, he taught them how to fish/aka how to live–love...what he taught would have a long-term/everlasting blessing/positive benefit IF applied in their every day lives. Check out the following from an article read back in 2004…W: The Miracles of Jesus—What Can You Learn?
The Gospel accounts refer to some 35 miracles of Jesus. But the total number of his miracles is not revealed. For instance, Matthew 14:14 states: “He [Jesus] saw a great crowd; and he felt pity for them, and he cured their sick ones.” We are not told how many sick people he cured on that occasion.
Such powerful works were central to Jesus’ claim that he was the Son of God, the promised Messiah. The Scriptures did indeed show that God-given power enabled Jesus to perform miracles. The apostle Peter referred to Jesus as “a man publicly shown by God to you through powerful works and portents and signs that God did through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22) On another occasion, Peter pointed out that “God anointed him [Jesus] with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed […]; because God was with him.”—Acts 10:37, 38.
Jesus did not merely claim that he was the Messiah; along with his words and other deeds, the God-given power displayed in his miracles furnished evidence of his Messiahship.
Marks of Authenticity
Why can we be certain that Jesus’ miracles were real, authentic? Consider some of the marks of authenticity.
In performing his powerful works, Jesus never drew attention to himself. He made sure that the result of any miracle was that God received the credit and the glory. Before curing a blind man, for instance, Jesus stressed that the healing would take place “in order that the works of God might be made manifest in his case.”—John 9:1-3; 11:1-4.
Unlike illusionists, magicians, and faith healers, Jesus never used hypnotism, trickery, spectacular displays, magic spells, or emotional rituals. He did not resort to superstition or the use of relics. Note the unassuming way in which Jesus healed two blind men. “Moved with pity,” says the account, “Jesus touched their eyes, and immediately they received sight, and they followed him.” (Matthew 20:29-34) No ritual, ceremony, or showy display was involved. Jesus performed his miraculous works in the open, often before numerous eyewitnesses. He did not use special lighting, staging, or props. In contrast, alleged modern-day miracles often defy documentation.—Mark 5:24-29; Luke 7:11-15.
Jesus sometimes acknowledged the faith of those who benefited from his miracles. But a person’s lack of faith did not prevent Jesus from performing a miracle.
The miracles of Jesus were performed to meet actual physical needs of people, not to satisfy someone’s curiosity. (Mark 10:46-52; Luke 23:8) And Jesus never performed miracles in order to profit personally in any way.—Matthew 4:2-4; 10:8.
What About the Gospel Accounts?
The facts about Jesus’ miracles have been transmitted to us through the pages of the four Gospels. Are there reasons to rely on these accounts as we examine the authenticity of the miracles attributed to Jesus? Yes, there are.
As already noted, Jesus’ miracles were performed in public, before many eyewitnesses. The earliest Gospels were penned at a time when most of those eyewitnesses were still alive. Regarding the honesty of the Gospel writers, the book The Miracles and the Resurrection notes: “To accuse the gospel evangelists of indiscriminately submerging historical fact in a flood of miracle-mongering to serve the interests of theological propaganda would be outright injustice. . . . They meant to be honest recorders.”
Jewish opponents of Christianity never challenged the powerful works described in the Gospels. They questioned only the power by which these were performed. (Mark 3:22-26) Neither could later detractors successfully deny Jesus’ miracles. On the contrary, during the first and second centuries C.E., there were references to miraculous works performed by Jesus. Clearly, we have every reason to view the Gospel accounts of his miracles as authentic.
Can You See? See clearly…understand Jesus’ motivation for what he did..that made him great/outstanding?
Jesus sensed the pain of others, even those whose exact circumstances he had never experienced. For instance, the common people lived in fear of the religious leaders, who deceived them and burdened them with many man-made rules. (Matt. 23:4; Mark 7:1-5; John 7:13) Jesus was never frightened or deceived, but he could understand situations that he had not lived through. Therefore, “on seeing the crowds, he feltpity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) Like his Father, Jesus was loving and compassionate.—Ps. 103:8.
When Jesus saw people suffering, he was moved to show them love. Thus, he perfectly reflected the love of his Father. After one extensive preaching tour, Jesus and his apostles were about to go to an isolated place to get some rest. Because he feltpity for the crowd awaiting him, however, Jesus took time “to teach them many things.”—Mark 6:30, 31, 34. (excerpted: Imitate the One Who Promises Everlasting Life W May 2015)
THANK YOU:) for patiently reading Part 5 aka 1928 word count!!…and awaiting (possibly) part 6 (potentially in the works, not sure when/(IF) i will be able to finish…this series/project about Jesus. Trying my best.)
Asking myself about “now”…How can i imitate Jesus’ love…today?
Parenthood is an incredible-beyond-words, my words to describe, GIFT shared together by Father and Mother. i LOVE this point read (sorry cannot recall specific reference/searched for it, but out of time to find it)…about “woman and man apart cannot make even a (so-called simple) blade a grass…yet, together they can create complex child/life”…a WONDEROUS thing!:)
As a parent, often wonder, what type of example(s) of compassion (positive/negative/healthy/unhealthy/balanced/unbalanced/good/bad/light/dark/sour/sweet) am i setting for my: 1 child almost 10 (daughter)+ 1 preteen (12 years old–daughter)+ 1 teen (almost 14…my first daughter) + my 1 son (my first baby now 16 this month) ????
My responses and their responses would probably be quite different. Do i have the guts to ask them?! Do i have the guts to honestly work on what they bring to my attention?! Their thoughts & perspectives/feelings about things is important to me; for sure! Of course, i love them, but i also “respect” them as younger life that i can learn lots from!:)
Jesus set an especially fine example for parents. Consider what he did. He took time for children, even when he was very busy and under stress. He watched them at play in the marketplace and used aspects of their behavior in his teaching. (Matthew 11:16, 17) During his final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus knew that he would suffer and be killed. So when people brought little ones to see him, Jesus’ disciples, perhaps in an effort to protect Jesus from further stress, tried to turn the children away. But Jesus reprimanded his disciples. Showing his “fulness of delight” with little ones, he said: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them.”—Mark 10:13, 14.
We can learn from Jesus’ example. When young ones come to us, how do we respond—even when we are busy? As Jesus did? What children need, especially from their parents, is what Jesus was willing to give them—his time and attention. True, such words as “I love you” are important. Yet, actions speak louder than words. Your love is manifest not only by what you say but even more so by what you do. It is shown by the time, attention, and care that you provide your little ones. Doing all of that, however, may not produce tangible results, at least not as quickly as you would hope. Patience is required.
Jesus was aware of the ongoing competition for prominence among his disciples. One day, after arriving in Capernaum with his disciples, he asked them: “‘What were you arguing over on the road?’ They kept silent, for on the road they had argued among themselves who is greater.” Instead of harshly reprimanding them, Jesus patiently provided an object lesson in an effort to teach them humility. (Mark 9:33-37) Did it produce the desired results? Not immediately. Some six months later, James and John put their mother up to requesting from Jesus prominent positions in the Kingdom. Again, Jesus patiently corrected their thinking.—Matthew 20:20-28.
Soon the Passover of 33 C.E. arrived, and Jesus met privately with his apostles to celebrate it. On arriving in the upper room, not one of the 12 apostles took the initiative to perform the customary service of washing the dusty feet of the others—the menial task of a servant or of a woman in the household. (1 Samuel 25:41; 1 Timothy 5:10) How it must have grieved Jesus to see that his disciples continued to show evidence of aspiring to rank and position! So Jesus washed the feet of each one and then earnestly appealed to them to follow his example of serving others. (John 13:4-17) Did they? The Bible says that later that evening “there also arose a heated dispute among them over which one of them seemed to be greatest.”—Luke 22:24.
When your children fail to respond to your counsel, do you parents appreciate how Jesus must have felt? Note that Jesus did not give up on his apostles, though they were slow in correcting their shortcomings. His patience eventually bore fruit. (1 John 3:14, 18) Parents, you do well to imitate Jesus’ love and patience, never giving up in your efforts to train your children.
Young ones need to sense that their parents love them and are interested in them. Jesus wanted to know what his disciples were thinking, so he listened when they had questions. He asked them what they thought about certain matters. (Matthew 17:25-27) Yes, good teaching includes attentive listening and genuine interest. A parent should resist any inclination to put off an inquiring child with a gruff: “Go away! Can’t you see that I am busy?” If a parent really is busy, the child should be told that the matter will be discussed later. Parents must then make sure that it is discussed. In this way the child will sense that the parent really is interested in him, and he will more readily confide in the parent. (excerpted: Our Children—A Precious Inheritance W05)
Can parents appropriately show their affection by putting their arms around their childrenand hugging them? Again, parents can learn from Jesus. The Bible says that he “took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands upon them.” (Mark 10:16) How do you think the young ones responded? Surely their hearts were warmed, and they were drawn to Jesus!
an ancestor of Jesus…King David, was discussed briefly, to help shed some light on Jesus’ lineage. Now, let’s fast forward to a “contemporary relative” of his, John. The following is some information about John, his cousin and close friend, helpful to understanding Jesus’ family, etc.:
Since the Messiah was to be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a member of the tribe of Judah, and a “son of David,” he had to have a human birth; he had to be, as Daniel’s prophecy declared, “a son of man.” When the “full limit of the time arrived,” Jehovah God sent forth his Son, who was born of a woman and who fulfilled all the legal requirements for the inheritance of “the throne of David his father.” Ga 4:4; Lu 1:26-33
Six months before his birth, John, who became theBaptizerand who was to be Jesus’ forerunner, had been born. (Lu 1:13-17, 36) The expressions of the parents of these sons showed they were living in eager anticipation of divine acts of rulership. (Lu 1:41-55, 68-79) At Jesus’ birth, the words of the angelic deputation sent to announce the meaning of the event also pointed to glorious acts by God. (Lu 2:9-14) So, too, the words of Simeon and Anna at the temple expressed hope in saving acts and liberation. (Lu 2:25-38) Both the Biblical record and secular evidence reveal that a general feeling of expectation prevailed among the Jews that the coming of the Messiah was drawing near. With many, however, interest was primarily in gaining freedom from the heavy yoke of Roman domination. (Kingdom of God–Insight on Scriptures–Vol. 2)
Check it out…PLEASE…lol:)
After Jesus’ death, the Jews followed many false Messiahs, as Jesus had foretold. (Mt 24:5) “From Josephus it appears that in the first century before the destruction of the Temple [in 70 C.E.] a number of Messiahs arose promising relief from the Roman yoke, and finding ready followers.” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. X, p. 251) Then, in 132 C.E., Bar Kokhba (Bar Koziba), one of the most prominent of the pseudomessiahs, was hailed as Messiah-king. In crushing the revolt that he led, Roman soldiers killed thousands of Jews. While such false Messiahs illustrate that many Jews were primarily interested in a political Messiah, they also show that they properly expected a personalMessiah, not just a Messianic era or Messianic nation. Some believe Bar Kokhba was a descendant of David, which would have aided his Messianic claim. However, since the genealogical records evidently were destroyed in 70 C.E., later claimants to the office of Messiah could not establish proof that they were of David’s family. (The Messiah therefore had to appear before 70 C.E., as Jesus did, in order to prove his claim as the heir of David. This shows that persons still looking for the Messiah’s earthly appearance are in error.) Among such later false claimants to messiahship were Moses of Crete, who asserted he would divide the sea between Crete and Palestine, and Serenus, who misled many Jews in Spain. The Jewish Encyclopedia lists 28 false Messiahs between the years 132 C.E. and 1744 C.E.—Vol. X, pp. 252-255.
The historical evidence found in the Gospels demonstrates that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Persons in the first century, who were in position to question the witnesses and examine the evidence, accepted the historical information as authentic. They were so sure of its accuracy that they were willing to endure persecution and die on behalf of their faith based on that assured information. The historical Gospel records show that various individuals openly acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ, or Messiah. (Mt 16:16; Joh 1:41, 45, 49; 11:27) Jesus did not say they were incorrect, and on occasion he admitted being the Christ. (Mt 16:17; Joh 4:25, 26) Sometimes Jesus would not say pointedly that he was the Messiah; at times he directed others not to publicize it. (Mr 8:29, 30; 9:9; Joh 10:24, 25) Since Jesus was present where people could hear him and see his works, he wanted them to believe on the solid basis of this evidence, so that their faith would be founded on their own eyewitness view of the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures. (Joh 5:36; 10:24, 25; compare Joh 4:41, 42.) (Excerpted: Messiah-Insight on Scriptures–Vol. 2) Related reading: The GREATEST MAN Who Ever Lived: Killed! (Part 1?)
Still with me??…keeping up o.k.? :)…let’s get back to John now: THANKS for Your Patience…(i’m trying to get us back to the top!..main point/(outlined–at beginning of this post: part 4)…we should arrive at the end of this “scenic” reading (and soon); i hope!;)…
John spent the early years of his life in the hill country of Judea, where his parents lived. He “went on growing and getting strong in spirit, and he continued in the deserts until the day of showing himself openly to Israel.” (Lu 1:39, 80) According to Luke, John began his ministry in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. John would have been then about 30 years old. Though there is no record that John engaged in priestly service at the temple, this was the age for priests to enter into full duty. (Nu 4:2, 3) Augustus died on August 17, 14 C.E., and Tiberius was named emperor by the Roman Senate on September 15; thus his 15th year would run from the latter part of 28 C.E. to August or September of 29 C.E. Since Jesus (also at the age of about 30) presented himself for baptism in the autumn, John, six months older, must have begun his ministry in the spring of 29 C.E.—Lu 3:1-3, 23.
John began his preaching in the Wilderness of Judea, saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Mt 3:1, 2) He wore clothing of camel hair and a leather girdle around his loins, similar to the dress of the prophet Elijah. John’s food consisted of insect locusts and wild honey. (2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6) He was a teacher and was, accordingly, called “Rabbi” by his disciples.—Joh 3:26.
Purpose of His Work. John preached baptism for forgiveness of sins for those repenting, confining his baptism to Jews and proselytes to the Jews’ religion. (Mr 1:1-5; Ac 13:24) John’s being sent was a manifestation of God’s loving-kindness toward the Jews. They were in covenant relationship with Jehovah but were guilty of sins committed against the Law covenant. John brought to their attention that they had broken the covenant, and he urged honest hearted ones to repentance. Their water baptism symbolized this repentance. Then they were in line to recognize the Messiah. (Ac 19:4) All sorts of persons came to John to be baptized, including harlots and tax collectors. (Mt 21:32) There also came to the baptism Pharisees and Sadducees, against whom John directed a scathing message of denunciation and to whom he spoke of the judgment that was near at hand. He did not spare them, calling them “offspring of vipers” and pointing out that their reliance on fleshly descent from Abraham was of no value.—Mt 3:7-12.
John taught those coming to him that they should share things and not commit extortion, that they should be satisfied with their provisions and harass no one. (Lu 3:10-14) He also taught his baptized followers how to pray to God. (Lu 11:1) At this time “the people were in expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts about John: ‘May he perhaps be the Christ?’” John denied that he was and declared that the One to follow him would be far greater. (Lu 3:15-17) When priests and Levites came to him in Bethany across the Jordan, they asked if he was Elijah or if he was “The Prophet,” and he confessed that he was not.—Joh 1:19-28.
John performed no miracles, as had Elijah (Joh 10:40-42), yet he came with the spirit and power of Elijah. He performed a powerful work in ‘turning the hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient ones to the practical wisdom of righteous ones.’ (excerpted: Insight Book Vol. 2–John)
In the autumn of 29 C.E., Jesus came to John to be baptized. John at first objected, knowing his own sinfulness and the righteousness of Jesus. But Jesus insisted. God had promised John a sign so that he could identify the Son of God. (Mt 3:13; Mr 1:9; Lu 3:21; Joh 1:33) When Jesus was baptized, the sign was fulfilled: John saw God’s spirit coming down upon Jesus and heard God’s own voice declaring Jesus to be His Son. […].—Mt 3:16, 17; Mr 1:9-11; Joh 1:32-34; 5:31, 37.
YAY!..whew…finally back to the point wanted to make, at the outset of part 4 post,…from a favorite book about Jesus: “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”…quoting Jesus’ words…
“This generation,” he declares, “is like young children sitting in the market places who cry out to their playmates, saying, “We played the flute for you, but you did not dance; we wailed, but you did not beat yourselves in grief.'”
What did Jesus mean? He explains: “John came neither eating nor drinking, yet people say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man did come eating and drinking, still people say, “Look! A man gluttonous and given to drinking wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'”
It is impossible to satisfy the people. Nothing pleases them. John has lived an austere life of self-denial as a Nazirite, in keeping with the angel’s declaration that “he must drink no wine and strong drink at all.” And yet the people say he is demonized. On the other hand, Jesus lives like other men, not practicing any austerity, and he is accused of excesses.
How hard to please they are! They are like playmates, some of whom refuse to respond with dancing when other children play the flute or with grief when their fellows wail. Nevertheless, Jesus says: “Wisdom is proved righteous by its works.” Yes, the evidence–the works–make clear that the accusations against both John and Jesus are false.
Some of the older generation in power back in Jesus’ day (e.g., Pharisees, Insight, Vol. 2: “A prominent religious sect of Judaism existing in the first century C.E. According to some scholars, the name literally means “Separated Ones; Separatists,” referring perhaps to avoidance of ceremonial uncleanness or to separation from Gentiles. Just when the Pharisees had their beginning is not precisely known. The writings of the Jewish historian Josephus indicate that in the time of John Hyrcanus I (latter half of the second century B.C.E.) the Pharisees already formed an influential body. Wrote Josephus: “And so great is their influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence.”—JewishAntiquities, XIII, 288 (x, 5).) …refused to abandon outdated ways of thinking and doing that caused suffering and also refused to listen (to the liberating/fresh/new way of thinking and doing that would bring greater happiness, etc.) from the younger generation: John and Jesus.
Makes me ask myself (as a person & parent): Are My arms Wide-Open…Welcoming? (and to my kids, their thoughts, ideas, etc.)
(published: post #4 consisting of 2661 word count: 4/4/15 @ 1:52 p.m.)
You got friends, right?? (A friend can be like a brother you break bread with, huh?)
You got enemies, too?? (A “potential” friend that could “eventually” be like a brother to break bread with, huh?)
(Personally, i’d rather have more (compassion) friends; of course!) Wouldn’t most of us prefer having friends over enemies?? Imagine a World where EVERYONE IS FRIENDS!:) (Can’t we all learn to get along? aka Practice Peace!)
What do You appreciate in a person or a friend? Any specific qualities attract You to someone?
Do your friends exert any influence over You? Subtle? or Powerful? Negative? or Positive?
What would your friends say about You IF they had to describe You to someone who didn’t know You (or know You well)?
Hmmmmmmm: What would Your enemies (Hope–You don’t have any), but If so…how do You think they would describe You?? What word (or other) picture would they paint?! Would it be similar or unfamiliar to the portrait painted, of You, by close friends?! Even among friends portraits would differ? Each of us have our own way of expressing, describing, wording, editing, spelling & painting (or numerous artistic talents…of one sort or another).
Word choices can be like color choices in artwork…(of language/communication). All kinds of artists use all kinds of media and color, etc. If You appreciate a work of art, and study it, do You learn about the Artist? (If You read my words, do You learn about me?)
Enjoy(ed) these excerpts/points: (my highlights)
You have probably heard of the Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo. Though you may never have seen the original of any of his masterpieces, you most likely agree with the art historian who called the Italian genius a “marvellous and incomparable artist.” Michelangelo’s talents cannot be denied. Who would try to separate appreciation for Michelangelo’s art from acknowledgment of him as an outstanding artist?
Consider this: Knowing that Leonardo da Vinci painted the “Mona Lisa” has not stopped art historians from investigating his technique and the materials he used.
Jesus could be described as a living-breathing-work-of-compassion-art-of-awe…for us to appreciate and admire and respect!…to worship?…OR would it be more appropriate to acknowledge the genius/outstanding artist behind Jesus (?)–a living-breathing-work-of-compassion art (pure compassion embodied as a living-breathing-working-teaching sculpture, a perfect man Jesus, who walked this earth).
Please consider the following excerpts:
Now think of the mind-boggling complexity and diversity of life that thrives around us on earth. Appropriately, The New York Times quoted one professor of biological sciences as stating: “The physical marks of design are visible in aspects of biology.” He added: “Life overwhelms us with the appearance of design.” Is it intellectually honest to admire the design without acknowledging the designer?
Affected by pervasive evolutionary ideas, some refuse or fail to recognize that design certainly points to a designer. But does the theory of evolution represent true science at its best? Note the conclusion that Christoph Schönborn, Catholic archbishop of Vienna, presented in The New York Times: “Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.” (joanie talking: i think a Catholic archbishop would know a little something about “ideology”, eh?-lol)
There are, however, those who feel that accepting the position that there is evidence of a Creator would “stifle research.” An article in the magazine New Scientist expressed such fears, asserting that “science as an open-ended pursuit would come to an end, halted by an impenetrable barrier labelled ‘the designer did it.’” Is that fear well-founded? Not at all. In fact, the opposite is true. Why?
To accept blind chance and subsequent evolution as the cause of our universe and life on earth would actually be to abandon any attempt to get a meaningful explanation. On the other hand, accepting that an intelligent Creator is behind what we see around us can lead us to investigate the nature and application of his intelligence manifested in the physical universe.
Similarly, accepting that there is a Designer should not discourage us from inquiring into the details and complexity of his designs and creations. Rather than stifling further research, the Bible encourages the search for answers to both scientific and spiritual questions.
Acceptance of the existence of a Creator does not hinder scientific progress.The quest for more comprehensive knowledge in both physical and spiritual matters is indeed open-ended and eternal. An ancient king noted for his broad knowledge humbly wrote: “He has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.”—Ecclesiastes 3:11, Holy Bible—New Life Version. (Above-mentioned excerpts: Admire the Design; Learn About the Designer W07)
The following post (Part 3) is my “attempt” at artistry…(NOT calling myself an artist). This is how i will “try” to color with crayons, pastels, paint/depict a word-picture/portrait-of-Jesus…and using various pieces of readings…(a mosaic of sorts).
Hope You will like it and find it refreshing when it’s finished! and hope You will come to appreciate “Why” i can’t help loving the “Greatest Man Who Ever Lived!” 🙂
Stuff i’ve studied about compassion (& have learned through my (limited) life experience thus far of 45 years) brings me to this way of thinking/speaking/writing:…when a person is truly into (genuinely) helping somebody else, no matter who they are, no matter their status (or lack thereof)..no matter their gender/background/education/reputation, etc…when a person is willing to push aside their own well-being, etc. for somebody else’s good…that’s pure compassion at work.. when you ultimately take the risk and throw yourself under the bus, or knowingly run into the burning building to save somebody–knowing ahead of time you will suffer for it or be burned (say when you give away or share your last morsel of food/bread)…yeah, that’s a true/loyal friend!!...somebody who loves You more than they love their own name, position, status, reputation, etc. When someone is more concerned about the best interests of the other and not only/just looking out for themselves/preserving self…when a person willingly goes there to the difficult place/the non-comfort zone of self-sacrifice/pain/suffering for somebody else…and knowing (partially or completely) they will be hurt, abused or ridiculed/killed by helping, speaking out, taking action, etc. to me: that’s the ultimate description of what pure compassion means.
Does my compassion/love pass this test?
“Noonehaslovegreaterthanthis, that someone should surrenderhissoul in behalf of his friends.” (John 15:13)
What am i/You willing to surrender for my/Your friends?
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts* (or drives) fear out, because fear restrains us. Indeed, the one who is fearful has not been made perfect in love. (1John 4:18)
What ticks You off?? (me?) This: the following (statistics/World Values Survey) provoked this post (published 3/19/14 @ 4:04 p.m.):
“in 29 countries around the world, one-third or more of men say it can be acceptable for a husband to “beat his wife.” Perhaps more surprising: In 19 countries, one-third or more of women agree that a husband who beats his wife may be justified, at least some of the time.”
“The data come from polling performed from 2010 through 2014 for the World Values Survey — an extensive study of attitudes in almost 100 countries, conducted on an ongoing basis since 1981. The study is led by an international network of researchers based in Stockholm.”
“The cultural acceptance of spousal abuse can be so pervasive that in some countries, large majorities of women say it’s acceptable. In Rwanda, 96 percent of women say the practice can be justified, according to the World Values Survey. About two-thirds of women in India and South Africa feel the same way. The attitude is also held by large shares of women in countries across the religious and cultural spectra — China, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Uzbekistan, to cite a few.”
More than 1 in 4 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hand of a husband or intimate partner, the World Health Organization reported in 2013. In sub-Saharan Africa, the share is about 2 in 3, and in North America, it’s 1 in 5. Excerpted NPR: Alarming Number Of Women Think Spousal Abuse Is Sometimes OK
Poetry can be a reflection of values. The First Man/Husband, Adam, spoke this poem about the First Woman/Wife, Eve: Genesis 2:15-25:
Jehovah God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eʹden to cultivate it and to take care of it.16 Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction.17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 Then Jehovah God said: “It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”19 Now Jehovah God had been forming from the ground every wild animal of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one; and whatever the man would call each living creature, that became its name.20 So the man named all the domestic animals and the flying creatures of the heavens and every wild animal of the field, but for man there was no helper as a complement of him. 21 So Jehovah God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. 22 And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman, and he brought her to the man.
23 Then the man said:
“This is at last boneofmy bones
This one will be called Woman,
Because from man she was taken.”
24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to*(remain with) his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 And both of them continued to be naked,the man and his wife; yet they were not ashamed.
Read this sweet/logical way of putting the male/female relationship into words:
Man and woman have always yearned to be together. This originated with God. Man and woman are designed to occupy dignified roles in God’s arrangement. (excerpted: Man and Woman–Made for Each Other)
However, this is what we see in many instances/relationships:
Today, however, families are breaking apart, and the relationship between man and woman is often abusive or governed by selfishness. A spirit of competition between the sexes has contributed to conflict and discord. All of this is contrary to God’s purpose for man and woman. Man was designed to fill a wonderful role on earth. Woman was to occupy a unique and worthy place at man’s side. They were to work together in harmony. (excerpted: Man and Woman–Made for Each Other)
A lack of love and a lack of respect…poison to relationships!..(which often leads to all kinds of abuses.)
When both men and women (are willing to) learn unselfishness and compassion…they (can) cultivate qualities within themselves (with (God’s) help) such as: (my highlights)
“They have learned to convey their thoughts and feelings to each other honestly, yet kindly, by cultivating and displaying insight, love, deep respect, and humility. When these fundamental qualities characterize a marriage, the lines of communication are always open.”
i enJOYed reading this practical/logical counsel for both male/female to treat each other in the manner they would like to be treated (or spoken to):
[…] likely you want to be treated with dignity and respect. You appreciate it when others listen to you and care about how you feel. But have you ever heard a person say, “I am going to do to him what he did to me”? Sometimes this reaction is understandable. However, the Bible tells us: “Donotsay: ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me.’” (Proverbs 24:29) Jesus taught people the best way to handle difficult situations. What Jesus said is often called the Golden Rule: “Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.” (Luke 6:31) Jesus meant that we should treat people the way we would like to be treated, not the way they treat us. This means that we need to put into our marriage what we hope to get out of it.
15 Couples strengthen their relationship when they truly care about each other’s feelings. “We have tried to put the Golden Rule into practice,” says a husband in South Africa. “True, there are times when we’re upset, but we have worked hard to treat each other the way we would like to be treated—with respect and dignity.”
16 Do not reveal your mate’s weaknesses to others or keep complaining about traits that upset you, not even as a joke. Remember that marriage is not a competition to prove who is stronger, who can shout louder, or who can say something that hurts the most. True, all of us are imperfect and sometimes upset others. But there is never a good reason for a couple to make each other feel ashamed, to use hurtful words when speaking to each other or, worse, to push or hit each other.—ReadProverbs17:27;31:26.
17 In some cultures, men bully or hit their wives to prove that they are strong. But the Bible says: “The one slow to anger is better than a mighty man, and the one controlling his temper than one conquering a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) A person needs great inner strength to show self-control as did Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived. A man who bullies or hits his wife is a weak man who will lose his relationship with Jehovah. The psalmist David, who was a strong and courageous man, said: “Be agitated, but do not sin. Have your say in your heart, upon your bed, and keep silent.”—Psalm 4:4. (Build a Strong & Happy Marriage w15 1/15 pp. 15-20)
Sadly, some have been educated to believe/practice that aggression/violence/abuse/dominance is strength. “A man who bullies or hits his wife is weak […]” (i’d say the same about a woman who bullies or hits is weak.) Boys and girls both need compassion education aka lessons/examples (worthy of imitation) of true love/agape, forgiveness and kindness, self-control in the home at an early age (and beyond)…for the culture of hate/violence/abuse to stop! All of us, young-old, male-female need to learn and appreciate the value of compassion!:)
PLEASE people, can’t we all show love and respect, forgiveness to each other every day?:) All of us, including myself very much, can improve…making more compassionate choices of speech and action. We may not agree or understand each other completely/fully…our thinking/belief system(s), vocabulary, etc…however, all beautiful-breathing-fragile-life on this beautiful planet deserves dignity, respect, love, education, patience, compassion.
(i was thinking/meditating about “humility”…a humble person isn’t insulting and doesn’t get insulted easily.) Taking ourselves a little less seriously…laughing it off helps, huh? (a value of mine: laughter & Chato makes me laugh!:)
A humble person is willing to see where they need to tweak/adjust, a humble person is willing to accept help…(in its various forms) and from whomever. (It takes courage, choice, compassion to accept change and/or take action and/or accept help.)
It’s so commendable/inspiring/(encouraging to me) when i learn/hear/see “positive” changes some have made in their lives that have benefitted themselves (and their families) tremendously: the following video caught my attention: