NEIGHBOR.

Luke‬ ‭10:30-37‬ ‭- Parable of the Good Samaritan

“Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “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.””

First off, I really hope each of you are doing well. I know life isn’t what everyone expected or hoped for right now. My prayer is when we take a deeper look at this parable, God will reveal some truth to help us through this unconventional time.

On to the text. What a way to begin a story. A Jewish dude was walking around and got robbed. Okay you have my attention, well done Jesus. He was beat up, stripped of his clothes, and left half dead. Okay now you really have my attention, Jesus! What do we have here? Where are you going with this one?

A priest came along. He has to help him. No? Well that seems off. The guy must be busy with other important priest things. A temple assistant came along. He has to help him. Maybe he isn’t as busy as the priest. He might help him… No? Well what the heck. Maybe he had things to do for the priest. A samaritan comes along. Oh he is despised too. He wouldn’t… Yes? Wait, Jesus are you sure you remember this right? I don’t know about this one.

This parable is absolutely timeless. People will never stop being beat up by life. People will never stop being stripped of their job or families. People will never stop feeling like life continues to knock them down.

I know that was really motivating.. couldn’t help myself. What are we supposed to do when life knocks us down like this? According to the parable there wasn’t much the Jewish man could do to help himself. There were three people however, who were given the opportunity to help him up and bring him life.

Unfortunately, the two you would expect to do something, didn’t. The one you didn’t expect, did. What is Jesus saying here? You don’t have to believe in Him or have it all figured out to love others. All you need is eyes to see a need and the heart to act on what you see.

Jesus doesn’t care how others think of you. He cares how you think of others. You could be the furthest thing from relevant in the worlds eyes, but still be impacting the kingdom tremendously just as the Samaritan did.

Everyone is called to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Everyone in this story would be considered a neighbor. Everyone ever is considered a neighbor. The difference between the three men who saw the Jewish man was that two of them didn’t act like a true neighbor. A true neighbor sets aside their own agenda to love others no matter what.

I believe we all have this potential, but many are withholding their love from others. There are too many excuses in the way. The thing with excuses is you will never run out of them. Trust me I know. I pass people all the time and I KNOW I should love them in some way, but I can easily talk myself out of it. What would happen if whenever we saw a need, we met it, no matter what?

This is what Jesus did. Jesus saw the need of the blind and met it. Jesus saw the need of the leper’s and met it. Jesus saw the need of the hungry and he met it. Another important point I believe Jesus is making is to do immeasurably MORE than what others would expect.

Read back through the story. The Good Samaritan not only took time out of his day to help the man. He used olive oil, wine, and bandages to help the man. These were not cheap items to come by in Ancient times. Then what did he do? Put him on his own donkey, brought him to a hotel, and basically said I will do whatever it takes to heal this man! Wow. Just wow.

I can only imagine how big this made Jesus smile. An unsuspecting man doing everything in his power to help someone else. Now that is what Jesus wants, people who are on a mission to serve and love others unconditionally.

Who around you has a need? I want to challenge you to go out, find a need, meet it, then do more. After that, sit back and watch God work. Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s an action that everyone needs to experience daily.

Dear Lord, thank you for being our rock in this storm. I pray you would give us open hearts and clear minds to serve others. Help us see a need and meet it this week. We love you and praise you. Amen.

Have a great week!

C. Lyman

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