Sunday, November 09, 2014


But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road.  And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.  And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”  And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”  (Luke 10:29-37)

People don’t just need to hear about Jesus from us, they need to see Jesus in us!  God is good, and when I do good, then I am being like Him.  We call the Samaritan in Christ’s parable, “The Good Samaritan,” because of his generous actions toward someone who could not help himself.  I am showing the resemblance to my Heavenly Father when I give, since He is the great Giver.  Others ought to see the favor.  God brings us into contact with those He intends for us to serve through His providence.  We do not run into need by accident, but by appointment from God.  How are we to respond?

The Good Samaritan saw the need.  Our eyes may be blinded by greed rather than seeing the need.  We may be aware, but quickly direct our gaze elsewhere, because it makes us feel uncomfortable—and the self-centered soul wants comfort more than anything.

The Good Samaritan felt the pain.  He took pity on him by having empathy for the fallen man.  Those who help are those who feel the hurt—who are able to interject themselves into the suffering of others and think, “If it were me, how would I feel?”

The Good Samaritan took some action.  He went to the poor fellow and gave him first aid.  While he wasn’t a doctor, he did what he could.  Just because I don’t have the money to help everyone, doesn’t mean I can’t help someone.  Although I can’t have enough time to serve everyone, doesn’t mean I don’t have the time to serve someone.  God doesn’t want our excuses; He wants our effort!

The Good Samaritan did follow-up.  It wasn’t a few dollars tossed in that would solve the long-term needs of the wounded fellow, although it would perhaps have salved the short-term conscience of the Samaritan.  There needed to be an extended investment to do whatever it took to help the fellow.

It is fascinating that the two “spiritual” men in the story were too holy to get their hands dirty and too busy with their religion to display the fruit of faith.  The priest and the Levite got as far away from the need as they could and hastened on to their religious event as fast as they could.  No wonder Jesus branded such as, “Hypocrites.”  They resembled their father—the Devil—and the Lord pointed out that fact.  Satan is a thief—supremely self-centered—and so are his offspring.

Since God is the great Giver, His grace should move me to go and do likewise.  Through my sacrifice of time and treasure today, by whatever means and in whatever measure God provides, I want others to see the Savior as I show the favor!

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