Dr. Krediet, aged 60 years old, was quite popular in the Dachau Concentration Camp. Not only was he a specialist in typhus fever, which was often an occurrence in Dachau, he was also very compassionate, always thinking of others first. Whenever an epidemic broke out, he would always volunteer to help the poor, afflicted prisoners. He spent most of his time in the typhus barracks, trying to save as many as he could from this terrible disease with the meager medical supplies in his possession.
Deep inside him, he knew he would be eventually become infected, but that didn’t stop him for caring for others. That’s the way he was, a compassionate doctor who cared abundantly about those he cared for. Never did he reject a patient. He wanted to heal them all, without exception. He eventually became effected, and he died on February 2, 1945, a few months before the liberation. It was a sad day in Dachau. He truly gave his life so that others would live.
“Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?” Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.” (Mark 2:15-17, MSG)
Jesus was Dr. Krediet’s example of compassion, and ours as well. He thought only about others, so much so that He willingly died on a lonely cross so that we could face eternity with peace in our hearts. Three days later He was resurrected, assuring us that those who accept Him fully will inherit a place in God’s Kingdom as well.
Naturally, not everyone agreed with him. The scholars and religious authorities vehemently detested Him. They accused him almost daily. Take, for example, the occasion when he was having supper with people who used to be disreputable but had found their way back to our Heavenly Father. This is truly an illustration of a collision with grace.
This still happens, even in our day and age. Some churches preach about grace without living it, just like the Pharisees. A baby starts to cry in the sanctuary, and members turn towards the mom with frowns on their faces. A woman finds herself divorced, members avoid her like the plague. A drunken man appears in the sanctuary and yells at the pastor. Before you know it, deacons have expel him from the church. Aren’t we supposed to show God’s grace?
I have seen this happen with my own eyes, and this is not how Jesus functions. He welcomes anyone, never rejecting any of them. In fact, He boldly declared: “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37b, NIV2)
It’s true that Jesus opposed those preachers from hell who had no idea what grace truly meant; the pastors and priests who wanted everyone to be like them, instead of following the example of Jesus Himself.
When God showed up in a Northerly church in California, it was a bit messy. The preacher stopped following the regular schedule, and although numerous healings occurred and many people gave their heart to God, a large part of the church, approximately one thousand members, left the church unsatisfied. It didn’t fit their theology. Isn’t experiencing our Heavenly Father our goal? When we cannot even accept the presence of our Heavenly Father in our midst, where is grace?
Fortunately for us, God is God. He is the One who offers abundant grace to anyone, sinner or saved, criminal or not. That’s the way He is.
How do we react when we meet a homeless in need? Will we interact with him? Will we offer him some money? Or will we put our nose up in the air and conclude that if we give him money, he will spend it on booze? Where is grace? We may have religion, but do we have Jesus? We may have numerous good works, but do we truly know our Heavenly Father? After all, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1John 4:8, NIV2)
In all we do, we need to ask ourselves a very important question: Where’s grace in all of this? Only then will we begin to experience our Heavenly Father fully.
Hey guys and gals, would you like to join me in helping those affected with Typhus fever?
(To access the entire “The Helpless Heroes and the Vindictive Prideful” devotional series, please click here.)