I used to think I was like the Good Samaritan.
The hero. The protagonist. The good guy. Sure, I’d help someone lying in a ditch, stripped and bleeding and unconscious. Maybe I’d load him up in my car, take him to the Best Western and nurse him all through the night. It’s possible I’d use my paycheck to pay for his recovery.
I grew to see that I was more like the priest and Levite.
The self-righteous religious professionals. I’d be afraid to get involved, ready with a litany of excuses and in a hurry to get somewhere. Maybe I’d go take a closer look to evaluate the situation. Perhaps I’d think about doing something. It’s possible I would pray for the man in the ditch as I crossed over on the other side of the road.
I now know that I am most like the wounded, beaten, half-dead person.
I was walking down a dangerous road away from God, all by myself. The devil stripped me of my right to be a child of God. The world beat me with temptation and sorrow. I was left for dead in my sins. No one would stop to help me.
Then, a compassionate Savior came along and rescued me. He brought healing to the pain and wounds of my sin, poured into me the comforting oil of the Holy Spirit, and brought me the wine of communion to cleanse and strengthen. This kind Savior took me to an inn, His Church, where the innkeeper, my Pastor, was appointed to look after me and care for me. My Rescuer will return with rich rewards.
Who was a neighbor?
The one who had mercy.
Go and do likewise.
I’m with you on this one! In the past, when I read this passage, I always thought about what I would do, or who really is my neighbor. But this time, I wondered about the traveler who was beaten and robbed…..wondered how he felt when someone ministered so kindly to him. Then it hit me. Jesus is the ultimate Good Samaritan, and it is I whom He has ministered to and saved. He has bandaged my wounds, healed my pain, soothed my hurts, carried me, stayed with me, and PAID the price for me! To “Go and do likewise” seems to be the obvious next good thing to do. Four simple words…..in this day and age, can I, can we, find it within ourselves to be merciful to all whom we encounter?
That perspective changed the story for me! It seems this day and age isn’t that much different.