Kindness Now: A Biblical Overview, Part 1

giving hands

Why Kindness?  

The concept of demonstrating God’s Kindness is not a new idea.  The pattern of Kindness is shown clearly in the character of God and the ministry of Jesus. In fact, Jesus said if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.  These truths and practices unmistakably propel us into this simply powerful ministry as they propelled the Disciples and the Early Church.

God’s Character of Kindness

Kindness is central to God’s nature, His loyal love and His favor toward His people. In the Old Testament, the word translated as “kindness” or “lovingkindness” refers to God’s long-suffering love—His determination to keep His promises to His chosen people in spite of their sin and rebellion.

This attribute of God was consistently shown through His divine mercy and His forgiveness toward His people. He is the Lord God, who delights in demonstrating kindness in the earth.

“Let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV)

“Kindness is not an apathetic response, but a deliberate act to bring a person back to God.” Nelson’s Bible Dictionary

Jesus Demonstrated Kindness

He continually declared, taught, and demonstrated the value of kindness by serving others practically, spiritually, and physically.

But Jesus called them to Himself and said,”You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 (NASB)

Water to wine…His first act of service. He was at a party with unbelievers … He served, meeting their need; honoring the Brides father by giving away the best wine. This caring act of service is how He first revealed his glory.

Feeding the 5,000… the people were hungry, He served them by feeding the people. This is how He established the principle of sharing and giving as He taught His disciples.

Healing as an Act of Kindness…He demonstrated the kindness and love of God. He went around doing good…and…healing all who were oppressed…

Washed Disciples Feet… He washed their feet, leaving an example for them to humbly serve as He had served.

Fed the Disciples Breakfast…His last act of service before the ascension?… He fed the disciples a fish breakfast on the beach.

Jesus will serve All at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! From creations beginning, to the end of His earthly mission, and now in Heaven, He is a serving King.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”  (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”  Revelation 19:7-9;21:9 (NIV)

The Apostles modeled humility and serving and they encouraged others to do the same.

Paul’s consistently defined himself and his team as bond-slaves, and as servants.

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 1 Corinthians 3:5(NIV)

Believers were encouraged to use their gifts to serve others.

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

The apostles followed Jesus’ example as a leader is the one that serves.

27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:27 (NIV)

Part 2