Monday, November 15, 2010

"How Do You Read It?"

Luke 10:25-37:

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.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This parable of the Good Samaritan has another way it can be read.

Although this involved a theft of personal property and being physically beaten, leaving the man on his way from Jerusalam to Jericho half dead, how often do we find people like this in everyday life in the spiritual sense?

You see, Jericho here represents some place we feel we need to reach in life (financial success, power, love, etc). Then on our way there, the fallen world spits us out, robs us and strips us of our dignity and emotionally wounds us---leaving us spiritually half dead.

And how many of us see this person in everyday life and decide like the two others, to walk on the other side of the road. We just don't want to get involved. Afterall, they are not physically crying out for help.

How many of us recognize this person needs help and offer them the bandage for their wounds called Jesus Christ?

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

How many of us go the extra mile and bring them to the inn--in this case Church--and introduce them to the pastor (the innkeeper) and tell him to "Look after him."

The great message in all of this is that everybody is our neighbor and if you truly love thy neighbor as thyself, you want the best and greatest thing for that person: the final destination of heaven. The Holy Spirit is our GPS. This is what we should try to do as Christians, to lead others on a different pathway to the gift of life eternal.

As Jesus would say: "Go and do likewise."

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox

1 comment:

  1. I love it Michael. You are a good man