“’Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert of the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” Luke 10:36-37
There have been countless times in my life where I have been given the opportunity to help someone in need, but I had chosen to ignore it. Recently, a family member reached out to me and my wife and asked for a favor. Though the favor was easy for me, did not require much of my time, talent or energy, I chose to not help. For whatever reason, I felt it was a burden to respond as opposed to do what my Savior has clearly said we are to do.
My wife made a different decision. She left our home a little after 10p, and did what I should have done from the beginning - she helped a neighbor in need.
In Luke 10:30-37, an expert of the Law asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks the expert to respond with what is written in the Law, and the expert says to “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and, ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:25-27). Jesus says that he is correct and then the expert asks a very interesting question….. who is my neighbor?
Jesus responds to the expert of the law with a story (Luke 10:30-37).
Let’s look at our main characters:
· The Traveler: identified as a Jewish man. Someone who is minding their own business comes across an unfortunate event. He is getting attacked, his stuff is stolen, and he is beaten and left on the side of the road, almost dead.
· The Priest: an individual who knew God’s Word. Someone who taught God’s Word. Probably someone who told people He loved God, and had been following God for many years. On the outside, he looked like someone, but on the inside, he was someone completely different. Many people who describe someone like this as a hypocrite.
The Levite: we have another individual who knew God’s Word. This person worked alongside the Priests and helped with duties surrounding the tabernacle.
· Certainly someone who worked within the House of Worship would stop and help someone. But this person didn’t. He continued to walk on the other side of the street.
· The Samaritan: The Samaritans were not friends with the Jews. In fact, the Jews considered the Samaritans to be as equal with demons. There were tons of racial issues between the Jews and the Samaritans. Yet this man was different than anyone else. The Samaritan had compassion towards the Jewish traveler and helped this man. The Samaritan had a heart for God. This person was an ordinary individual who shared an extraordinary act of love.
After the event of not wanting to help my family member, I woke up the next morning to find that this was the text for my devotional. I’m pretty sure God was trying to tell me something. I realized that there are times that I can be a horrible neighbor to people. Sometimes I get so busy with my own life, job, marriage, relationships, and responsibilities that I forget to do what I’m supposed to do as a follower of Jesus - help my neighbor.
I finished my devotional with a question.
What kind of neighbor am I?
I wonder if there are other neighbors that we tend to leave out of helping.
Jesus is trying to help people to understand that it is our responsibility as His followers to show an extraordinary type of love. A love that…
1. Helps the financial needy.
2. Helps the poor at heart.
3. Helps the lonely.
4. Helps the helpless.
Posted on Wed, July 1, 2015
by Sam Petitfils