Luke 10:25-37 NIV:
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?”
27 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’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
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.”
Jesus used one of the most undesirable people as an example, a Samaritan. An example from today might include an untouchable from India, or a ghetto resident in the United States.
The person was in trouble, apparently through no fault of his own. While the Scriptures are not definitive, we see no fault in the victim, like poor judgment or that he “started” the fight. He was stripped naked, left for dead.
The priest and Levite not only passed by, but got as far out of the way as possible. The Samaritan took pity, the Scripture suggests the others did not. The Samaritan did personal acts:
· Bandaged wounds
· Used expensive oil and wine
· Placed him on his donkey, the Samaritan now walked instead of riding
· Personally took care of him at the inn
When the Samaritan needed to depart, he personally left money to care for the man and promised the innkeeper he would pay more if needed.
The Samaritan meet these needs. He did not ask the innkeeper to take on the responsibility. He did not ask the Roman government to care for these needs, he filled the need himself, sacrificially. The Samaritan had extra, money for the innkeeper and oil, he was prepared not just for his needs but for the needs of another.
The folks who passed the man by were not willing to sacrifice, they were expecting someone else to act. Likewise today, we can expect others to step in and provide disaster relief, both in funding and the work. We may ask FEMA, a state government or other responders to fill the need.
Above: The type of money likely used, 2 weeks wages for many
I believe the Lord is calling each of us to respond, not just point to others to act.
1. Do we have surplus to offer when needed?
2. Are we willing to meet needs, or ask others to meet those needs?
3. Have we passed others by in the past?