“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?”
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.””(Luke 10:25-37 NLT)
The “Good Samaritan”, a story of hope, restoration, encouragement, healing, and compassion. It’s ALSO a story of people who COULD help, but for some reason, chose not to.
It illustrates the truth revealed in 1 Corinthians 4:20 – “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”(NLT)
I ask you, what greater power is there than love?
I think everyone in the world can quote John 3:16, “for God so loved the world…”, but there is a verse in First John 3:16 and 18 that is a Word from the loving God to us, and one we need to know as well- “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters…Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”(NLT)
The Good Samaritan had the opportunity to help because at least three others chose not to! The robbers left the Jew naked and dying, the lead pastor (by the way,not responsible for the Jew’s predicament) chose to cross the road and walk on by, and the associate pastor did the same.
Each person COULD have and SHOULD have helped. I suppose the lead pastor and the associate pastor could have given the dying man some cash and some booklets on healing and prosperity before they crossed the road. They may have even given the guy a copy of my book, The Power Of Encouragement.
Regardless of the fact those two weren’t responsible for the condition they FOUND the dying man in, they WERE responsible for the condition they LEFT him in.
Maybe the preachers thought someone else would come along with more time, more resources, and better trained. “After all”, they thought, “there are people a lot more suited for this type of work than I am. Besides, he has lots of friends throughout this area who can help.”
But the man was dying, already half dead. No guarantees more help would come. But the first two men chose to walk on by.
Think about this: if the lead pastor would have stopped to help, the associate pastor and the Samaritan would have been available to help others; and The Lord knows there’s plenty of needs to go around!
Let’s do good as we have the opportunity. Usually, hurting people aren’t real picky about who drives the ambulance.
Jesus described the Samaritan as, “Good”. How would He describe you?