SERVE A NEIGHBOR!
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 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. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 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. The next day he took out two denarii 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.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” —Luke 10:25-37
A person who truly loves God and his neighbor reveals that they are truly a follower of Jesus. These two commands Jesus said summarize the whole Old Testament (Matthew 22:34-40) and apparently this is the case for the New Testament as well (I John 4:7-21). We are told that the world will know we are Jesus’ “disciples if we love one another” (John 13:34-35).
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (I John 3:17). In the above passage Jesus said to “do this and you will live.” The expert in the law was told to love God and his neighbor. He wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan to show who is our neighbor.
Who am I to help, to serve? The man in the parable “was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.” Jesus said, “A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side” and so did a Levite. These two were supposed to be servants of God, but apparently they were just going through religious motions. It was a despised Samaritan that helped the man. This was not “planned” ministry, but ministry taking place where the need was seen as one went through his day. It was not planned ministry, but a planned heart!
Do you know how many broken people we come into contact with almost every day? Are we being sensitive to them and willing to minister to them as the Samaritan did or are we like the priest and Levite and just walk right on by? Be the mouth and hands of our Great Physician and bring healing to people—healing from their spiritual brokenness. May we do so today! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEhRucEVzH8
Dear Father, help me to be sensitive to all those around me that are dying without You. May I bring the Good News to them in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.