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“The compassion of Jesus is the compassion of Almighty God, and Jesus says to your heart and mind, “Don’t ever be so foolish as to measure my compassion for you in terms of your compassion for one another. Don’t ever be so silly as to compare your thin, pallid, wavering, moody, depending on smooth circumstances human compassion with mine, for I am God, as well as man.” When you read in the Gospels that Jesus was moved with compassion, it is saying that His gut was wrenched, His heart torn open, and the most vulnerable part of his being laid bare. The ground of all being shook, the source of all life trembled, the heart of all love burst open, and the unfathomable depths of the relentless tenderness was laid bare. Your Christian life and mine don’t make any sense unless in the depth of our beings we believe that Jesus not only knows what hurts us, but knowing, seeks us out whatever our poverty, whatever our pain. His plea to His people is, “Come now, wounded, frightened, angry, lonely, empty, and I’ll meet you where you live. And I’ll love you as you are, not as you should be, because you’re never going to be as you should be.” Do you really believe this? With all the wrong turns you made in your past the mistakes, the moments of selfishness, dishonesty and degraded love? Do you really believe that Jesus Christ loves you? Not the Person next to you, not the church, not the world. But that He loves you—beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity. That he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain. Without caution, regret, boundary, limit. No matter what’s gone down, He can’t stop loving you. This is the Jesus of the Gospels.”
Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013) was a writer and speaker who was known mostly for his full-throttle proclamation of the good news of the unconditional love of God. He wrote many popular and influential books, including The Ragamuffin Gospel, Abba’s Child, Signature of Jesus, Ruthless Trust, The Wisdom of Tenderness, and others. His final book, was his memoir, All is Grace.