One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”- Luke 10:25-29 (NLT)
Robbed, beaten, stripped of everything and left to die, the man lay on the road, dying.
A priest comes by. He does not know who this man is nor if he is dead or alive. He doesn't know if he is a Jew or Gentile. He doesn't know if the man is "clean" or "unclean". He doesn't know if the robbers are lying in wait nearby or of course, perhaps he's on his way to do something more important. We don't know. However, Jesus says the man crossed to the other side of the road and walked on.
It is easy to ignore someone who needs help. We can simply pretend they're not there, cross to the other side of the road and go on our merry way. If our conscience gets in the way, we can tell ourselves that we really do not know what sort of person they are. Why, they might even "contaminate" our neat and tidy little world. We can't have that now, can we?
Then a Levite comes along. This man does stop and take a look at the man. He is aware this that this man is alive although he is seriously injured. He needs help but instead of coming to his aid, he cross over to the other side as well. Perhaps he'll "pray" for him that evening but in the meantime... the man is suffering and will die soon without aid.
It is easy to acknowledge a problem exists. Someone needs help but what good is that if we do not take steps to provide help?
Finally the Samaritan comes upon the scene. The Bible tells us that he did not just simply "see" the man. It says he felt compassion for him (Luke 10:33). Compassion is good but it was not enough to save this man unless compassion was accompanied by action. I call what the Samaritan did; love in action.
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”- Luke 10:36-37 (NLT)
Are we a good neighbor?
Good blog. And since the man was a Samaritan, he probably didn''t live near, or really even know the injured man. Jesus, however, still defines him as a neighbor. -bibleguy64