Today’s lesson is entitled “Let Your Heart Be Broken”. A better title could be “Compassion”. As the NFL game ended and the Packers celebrated their victory over the Bears, a, 4-year-old girl was crying which seemed odd since neither of her parents cared who won the game. When her mom asked her why she was crying, she said, “I feel sorry for the Bears. They look so sad.” We can learn something from this preschooler about compassion. In a world where winning is so important and losers get rejected and forgotten, we need this reminder: People need compassion. When we see others struggling with a loss are we willing to shed tears, put our arms around them, and offer to help?
Scripture challenges us to treat others with compassion. Philippians 2:1-3 tells us to think of others above ourselves, looking out for their interests—not just ours. I Peter 3:8-12 reminds us that compassion means treating others “as brothers,” and Colossians 3:12-15 says that mercy, kindness, and humility are marks of those God has redeemed. Our Scripture today instructs us to look around us. Go beyond feeling bad for the one with loss and reach out with compassion and God’s love.
A parable is a story that has a meaning beyond the illustration and before we get into Jeremiah, let’s take a look at the parable of the Good Neighbor also called the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37
The lawyer was one who knew every aspect of religious laws. He asked a question he already knew the answer too. He asked, “what do I need to do to inherit eternal life?” Deuteronomy 6:5 He felt trapped so he wanted to justify himself so he asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus shares with him a story which tells us that being a good neighbor requires the right emotion. (v.33) The priest and the Levite both see and go by on the other side. It is clear that they knew he was hurt. They did this because they had an entitlement attitude, thinking they had got here on their own and they deserved their position. The Samaritan’s emotion should be our default emotion. He had compassion. A lot of things we could feel at this point (smugness, told you so attitude, or pity) but compassion is the most Christ like response. Compassion is the word used most in describing Jesus’ emotions more than any other word. . Matthew 14:14, Luke 15:20 Compassion describes an inside being that is an instinctive, overwhelming, immediate response. This is what we need to feel when we see people on the wrong side of the road.
Being a good neighbor requires a good action. (v34. -35) To show mercy is the word Hesed. It is when the person from who I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything! It is mercy and lovingkindness. “Thought the wounded man on the ground had no right to expect anything from a no-good Samaritan, he received over the top mercy.
When you provide aid, it will result in dirty hands. You can’t show mercy without dirtying your hands. The right action will result in dirty hands. We should rarely ignore a generous impulse. Let’s do mercy! The needs were beyond the ability of the Samaritan to take care of on his own so he partnered with the inn keeper saying you do it and I’ll pay you. We may not be able to take care of a need but we can partner with others through prayer and giving to meet that need.
Also, being a good neighbor requires the right question. (v36) The lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus changed the question to “Who proved to be a neighbor?” Jesus told a story that changes the question from “What kind of person is my neighbor?” to “What kind of person am I?” He changes the question from “What status of people are worthy of my love?” to “How can I become the kind of person whose compassion disregards status?” Instead of looking for who we need to help it becomes a quest on who we need to be.
What it means to love your neighbor as self is be a neighbor. We are the wounded one on the side of the road and Someone (Jesus) was that neighbor to us. The man on the side of the road received radical neighboring. Jesus is the Good Samaritan. He is the One who meets our needs. Too often we want to do the minimum to get by but Jesus showed we need to do mercy. The remedy is to move from an entitlement attitude to one of gratitude realizing we are the one on the side of the road and Jesus rescued us. When we have a sense of gratitude, we will prove to be a neighbor. Being a good neighbor requires a response of free grace. To stop and rescue us didn’t risk Jesus’ life, it cost Him His life. When we see Jesus as our true neighbor and what He done for us, we’ll become a true neighbor to others.
READ SEE THE PROBLEM JEREMIAH 8:4-7
When people fall down or realize they’re headed in the wrong direction, it makes sense to get up and change directions. But as God watched the nation, he saw people living sinful lives by choice, deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences. They had lost perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and were trying to minimize their sin. Repentance is more than changing directions or actions. It involves changing our thinking to the same way God thinks. Wisdom is seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference so repentance is utilizing wisdom and changing our thoughts first and then our actions to how God would act or react.
The Lord’s Word came to Jeremiah, and he was to proclaim it to the unrepentant people. These fallen people, even though called to be sons and daughters of God, continued to go through the external motions of the service in the Temple while living in unbelief. We must ask ourselves if we’re only going through the motions or do we truly believe God’s Word. John 4:23
The Israelites were asking “What have I done?” not in repentance for the people didn’t care about God, His Word, the Gospel, or about what was right and wrong. How we live does make a difference! They were willing to know and have other gods. The people didn’t bother to ask, “Is what I am doing right or wrong? Is this a sin?” They didn’t care. They continued to depart from the truth and as a result, “each one turned to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle.” This is a course that departed from the Way of Life. Proverbs says there’s a way that seems right to a man but the pathway thereof leads to death. A man might, worship one god for a while and another for a bit, and then stride on into the House of the LORD as spiritual insurance policy. These people had fallen from the truth so they were incapable of being convicted by God’s Law. We must guard our hearts to avoid having that happen to us. Prov 4:23 “They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.” We must give heed and listen but keep in mind that even in Jeremiah’s time there were those who refused to listen and obey.
We haven’t achieved God’s standard.. Romans 3:23 We’re the guilty party. If we ask “What have I done?” with a repentant heart, it places us in a position where the Law is doing its job of accusing our old nature; and into a posture where the Good News of God’s forgiveness may be announced. “Yes, this is what you have done but behold, dearly beloved; I want you to listen to what I have done! I have given you My Word and promised the Savior. ‘I AM your Shield, our exceedingly great reward’ (Gen. 15:1) and this is in spite of what we’ve done nor is it because of anything that we could do. Our hope is because of what Jesus has done and will do. Hope is a seed God plants in our hearts to remind us there are better things ahead. Hope is Holding Out for Possibilities Every time. Even though you have sinned greatly and grievously, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine (Isaiah 43:1). We have a re-created heart and the LORD dwells within us. It’s no longer us who lives but the Redeemer and we’re a temple of the Holy Spirit. The child of God will fall, but the Good News ought to produce in us a habitual hunger and a recurring thirst that draws us back to God. This longing is like the migratory birds returning each year. Often, even with those who claim to be the children of God, this does not happen. Jeremiah says “Even the stork in the heavens knows her times; and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming; but My people know not the requirements of the LORD.” When our fellow brother and sisters fall, we must say except for the grace of God there goes I and seek to restore that one. Gal 6:1
READ JEREMIAH 8:8-13 AVOID SUPERFICIAL RESPONSES
The scribes thought they had arrived. They built a stone wall around their hearts not willing to allow anyone to touch them with the realities of what was going on. They were like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz who said to the tin man, “As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” The Wizard of Oz declared being heartless was the safer way to live. How sad! We must do life together and doing life together is going to have heartbreaks and hurts.
The spiritual leaders had tweaked and twisted God’s law to fit their own agendas. Because they had convinced the people they could sin without any consequence, God would bring grave consequences. These men treated brokenness superficially by saying everything was OK when it wasn’t. They claimed there was peace when the enemy was battering away at the gate. Instead of skin-deep reassurances, the people need to hear the truth and comfort of the Word. II Corinthians 1:3-7 Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer the more comfort God gives us. If we’re feeling overwhelmed, we must receive God’s comfort and remember every trial we endure will help us comfort others who are suffering similar troubles.
READ REFLECT GOD’S BROKEN-HEARTEDNESS JEREMIAH 8:18-9:1
These words portray Jeremiah’s emotion as he watched his people reject God. He responded with anguish to a world dying in sin. We watch that same world still dying in sin, still rejecting God. We must ask ourselves how often is our heart broken for the lost and hurting? Only when we have Jeremiah’s kind of passionate concern will we be moved to help. We must begin by asking God to break our hearts for the world He loves. John 3:16
V. 22 We are to be the one’s who apply the “balm” to the hurting. Although people’s spiritual sickness is deep, it can be healed. God can heal our sin sickness but He won’t force His healing on us. His grace must be willingly received. Jeremiah was angered by the peoples’ sin, but he had compassion too. He was set apart by his mission for God, but he was also one of them. Jesus had similar feelings when he stood before Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37. We must pray to be more like Jesus.
There’s a song that perfectly fits Jeremiah’s message in today’s lesson. The song is called Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath.
Looked down from a broken sky Traced out by the city lights My world from a mile high Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tar Hold on for the sudden stop Breathe in the familiar shock Of confusion And chaos All those people goin’ somewhere Why have I never cared?
Step out on a busy street See a girl and our eyes meet Does her best to smile at me To hide what’s underneath
There’s a man just to her right Black suit and a bright red tie Too ashamed to tell his wife He’s out of work, he’s buyin’ time All those people goin’ somewhere Why have I never cared?
I’ve been there a million times A couple of million eyes Just move and pass me by I never thought that I was wrong Well I want a second glance So give me a second chance To see the way You’ve (Jesus) seen the people all along
Give me Your eyes for just one second Give me Your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missing Give me Your love for humanity Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten Give me Your eyes so I can see
Filed under: Bible Studies, broken, jeremiah, reflect God's broken-heartedness, see the problem, superficial responses