Read Luke 10:25-37.
We glean so many lessons from this parable, but let’s focus on the lesson of doing. To a certain extent the expert in the law was right. Much of following God is about doing. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Yet, we see when he answers Jesus’ query about what is written in the law, the expert knows it is more about being. In the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus forces us to test ‘the being’ with ‘the doing’. The man lying on the road is not a man who would have been ignored in other circumstances. He had money, he was decently dressed, and he was Jewish. One incident in which he was victimized changed his outward appearance to the point that other refused to do. Refusing to do is ignoring.
The priest and the Levite saw the man. The priest and the Levite recognized the man’s needs. The story implies that the priest and the Levite had the means to meet these needs. The priest and the Levite in weighing the cost chose to walk on the other side of the road. They chose to ignore. There are many victims in today’s world. There are victims of war and politics, of economics, of racial prejudice, of tragedies and disasters, of violence, of irrational hate, of misunderstandings, etc. Sadly, we see these victims and chose to ignore them. These victims are clearly seen in our living rooms as we watch world and local events unfold before us on our television screen. These victims are seen in our children’s schools and in our communities. These victims are even seen in our churches. Yet we choose to ignore.
We are all about doing as long as we can choose what we will do. As soon as God asks us to do something that will demonstrate true love for him and our neighbor the cost becomes too great and we walk on the other side of the road.
What if there had not been a Good Samaritan in Jesus’ story? What if not one had seen to this victim’s immediate needs and arranged for more long term needs? What if not one had demonstrated in a real way what it means to “love the Lord your God…?” Know why there are so many neglected people in the world who are defeated and demoralized? Because we as Christians have chosen to ignore them.
Question: Who is in your path and needs you to demonstrate the love of God today?