This morning I was reading in Luke 10:25-37. Jesus is talking about the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The following verses are from the New International Version (NIV) Luke 10:25-29:
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?”
Jesus goes on to tell the story of a certain man who was on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed, beaten, stripped of his clothing and left by the side of the road for dead.
Three different people pass by.
The first is a priest and when he saw the man lying by the side of the road, He must have noticed the man had no clothing on or no way to be identified, so not wanting to touch a non-Jewish person or possibly a dead body, the priest passed on the other side of the road.
The second is a Levite, he came and looked at the man lying by the side of the road and he too passed by on the other side of the road.
The third is a Samaritan. Traveling along this road from Jerusalem to Jericho, most likely meant this man left for dead was Jewish. Samaritans & Jewish people did not associate with each other. In fact, Samaritans were the despised enemies of the Jews. However, this Samaritan, when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went to him, bandaged his wounds and put him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
When the Samaritan had to depart the next day, he left instruction & money with the innkeeper to continue to care for the wounded man. Any additional fees he would pay the next time he came to the inn.
“So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (VS 36-37)
We have much to learn from this. Who is our neighbor? Everyone is our neighbor. We have the opportunity to lend a helping hand, to help each person that crosses our path or we cross theirs.
I am very much reminded of my neighbors during this challenging time in our nation. It should not matter the race, the gender, the political party, the financial status or any other prejudice we may have.
As I make phone calls and check on people, I am reminded how scary this time can be, how many are feeling uncertain and anxious, even going so far as to say they are nearing hopelessness.
What can we do to help our neighbor? If each of us reached out to at least one person…one person that perhaps has no one else, who is forgotten, who is fearful and lonely.
Many of us are in self-quarantine. We have extra down time on our hands that has not happened in years, if ever. Pray and think about who needs your help, your personal attention. Take a few minutes and send a text or even better…make a phone call, ask how they are doing, do they need anything. If they need something, you can get it and drop it off at their door, so no physical contact is needed.
Write a letter, send a card. Do you have nieces & nephews, grandchildren? Send them some stickers, coloring books or educational activities. What a great way to help the Moms & Dads that are homeschooling! Most people love to get mail. In this face paced world, handwritten cards & letters have fallen by the wayside. Tuck in a favorite Bible verse or word of encouragement. Let us pick up that beautiful way of keeping in touch again.
These are just a few ways, I’m sure you can think of other ways to help your neighbor. YOU can make a difference! You may never know how much you have enriched a life, & perhaps reached someone who was feeling hopeless, all alone & isolated.
” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (VS 37)
As Followers of Jesus, we are His hands & feet. Let’s look out for our neighbors. Not only will they be blessed, but we will as well as we give of ourselves to those around us. May God Bless you.