I come to your Word today, Father, with open hands and an open heart. I come looking to you for life-changing truth.
Read LUKE 10:25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 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. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 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. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] 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.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectUse Psalm 107:1,2 as inspiration to thank God for all the good things he has brought into your life.
In a way, Jesus doesn’t really need to say anything after the lawyer’s answer (v 27). It captures exactly the purpose of the story that follows…except the lawyer doesn’t get the ‘neighbor’ part.
This is what discipleship is all about—responding to God’s grace and goodness with all of ourselves, all we think, say, feel, and do— and letting our thankfulness spill over into the way we treat others. If we could only love perfectly, that’s all that would be needed— Jesus needn’t continue with the story. But we can’t because we’re narrow-minded and sinful—essentially, selfish and self-preserving.
It’s not about how much we have to do to earn a way into God’s good books, as the lawyer thinks (v 25). The story Jesus tells (vs 30-35) shows there can be no limits or exceptions to this thankful way of living. The focus is not on how much we need to do, or should or should not do (as the two religious leaders thought), but on how much our ‘neighbor’ needs (as the Samaritan demonstrates selflessly). Following Jesus means being so thankful to God that we don’t even stop to think about how much serving others is costing us. This, too, is part of ‘dying to self.’
So, what happens now, when Jesus says to you, ‘Go and do likewise’ (v 37)?
Merciful Jesus, you left heaven to pay my debt, to provide all that I need. Help me to love others with your kind of love, to meet the needs of anyone you place before me. Help me to gladly minister to others in your name—even without being asked and without thought of repayment.
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