Justice Wrapped in Mercy
by Sharon Gonzales. This book was birthed with the desire to inspire many to take their place as justice-bearers, spiritual crime stoppers, and governmental harvest reapers. It is designed to motivate prayer-action and to cultivate justice prayer experiences.
Excerpt from Chapter 1, The Splaghnon God
Defining moments alter our heart’s course. During a conference weekend several years ago I encountered one of those defining moments.
Deep waters of compassion began to stir within me as Jesus’ merciful love was powerfully described by the conference speaker. The speaker focused on Jesus’ anguishing desire to pour out His love upon those who had not yet received Him. He taught from this scripture passage: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
In Matthew 9:36 compassion is the key word. To be moved with compassion means to have the bowels yearn, to have inward affection, to feel sympathy, and to pity.6 Splagchnon is the Greek root word for compassion.
Using this splagchnon–compassion definition, the conference speaker painted a picture of Matthew 9:36 for his listeners: Jesus, in the midst of teaching, preaching and healing, suddenly stopped and cast His eyes over the crowd. His face was already stained with trails of weeping. Deep within His bowels a fresh wave of Father’s heart rose up, throwing Jesus to the ground in agonizing cries to Father. Jesus moved on the ground with compassion, in compassion, in splagchnon. Divine compassion violently wept for these poor ones, the ones without a shepherd.
We can imagine Jesus crying out: “Father, on that hillside I proclaimed Your words: Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Grant these poor ones entrance into the kingdom. Arise, and decree justice to the poor. By Your command, Father, issue vengeance against the oppression that holds them back from You.”
At the cross, Jesus answered His own prayer.