The church we attend, where my husband is the pastor, is having nightly revival services for a few days. Last night, the guest preacher gave a wonderful word concerning the good Samaritan. Most of us have heard this portion of scriptures numerous times, and often, we let familiarity cheat us from a divine lesson.
In Luke 10:25-37, a lawyer asked Jesus about what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus and the lawyer spoke for a moment, and the lawyer recited the two commandments that summed up the Mosaic Law. Expounding on the second one that states to love your neighbor as yourself, and, wishing to justify himself, the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Although we have not asked the same specific question, how many times do our own actions ask this question. Who are we supposed to love? To whom are we to show kindness? The same story Jesus told the lawyer applies to us today.
A man was traveling and overtaken by robbers. They beat him nearly to death and left him along the road. Both a priest and a Levite came by and kept going on their ways, leaving the man in his critical, physical condition. These men were both of religious persuasion. The priest atoned for the sins of the people before Jesus became the sacrificial lamb. The Levite, a member of the tribe of Levi, assisted priests in the temple with their duties. One would think that these two religious men would have been more than happy to help the injured, but we would be hasty in making that assumption. Sometimes it is the most unlikely candidate who demonstrates the love of God.
A Samaritan came along the path of the injured man. He took care of the man and found him a place to stay. He even paid for the injured man to be cared for while he went away. The Jews of that time-period considered the Samaritans to be unworthy of their time and attention. We shake our heads in disgust at the priest and Levite, but how often do we overlook the homeless person on the street? Or how often do we turn a blind eye to the prostitute, drug addict, or someone with whom our own personality clashes?
Part of every-day life in Christ is loving the unlovely, and that means demonstrating love when we do not feel love. Biblical love is a choice. The loving emotions will come later. While we can not take care of every person in need, why don’t we take care of the ones God puts in our paths? Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obeying His voice will lead us to the ones who are meant to help.
Am I perfect at this concept? Heavens, no! I have failed many times at this because I often get caught up in my own work and ministry that I forget I need to step outside of the box and truly live as Christ did. I am learning, and I hope you are too.