In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” - Luke 10:30-37 NIV
I know that I have read this story at least 100 times. I’ve heard it taught. I’ve heard it preached. I’ve even used it when I’ve had the opportunity to teach/speak/preach.
And through it all, They (and I) always focused on the MEAT of the story. The Good Samaritan. Despised as he may have been by the Jewish elite, he did not pass by the man in need after two other “elite”, if you would, not only passed by but passed by on the other side of the road so as to not see or become unclean. The Samaritan, however, not only took care of the man’s immediate needs for medical care. He also paid for a room for the man to stay and recover in, as well as paid for the man’s future needs - paying the innkeeper to not only take care of the man but also promised to reimburse him for any other out of pocket expenses he may incur.
And that’s a great lesson.
But the HEART of the story jumped out at me again today, and that’s Jesus’ final comment in the parable:
“Go and do likewise.”
Not only did He teach us about loving our neighbor, but He challenged to put that love lesson into action. He challenged us to put our faith to work.
As we become more and more aware of the need around us... as we begin to open our eyes and strive to make a difference... as we begin to put our faith to work, who is our neighbor? Where is there a need that we can help fulfill? How can we shine the light of Jesus there?
The Good Samaritan put his faith into action. It’s time for us to go and do likewise.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem