As a Christian, I have heard the story of “The Good Samaritan” for as long as I can remember. It is a parable that has been used time and time again to encourage us to get out there and do something for God.
(Sometimes that thought makes me chuckle… Do… something … for…God….As if the One who simply spoke and created the universe, needs us to DO anything FOR Him…but that is another post for another day…)
I believe that this parable contains such a wonderful example of what it means to be in a religion versus what it means to have a relationship with God.
30… Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins 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?” 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10: 27 – 37
Today when I read this story one of the things that popped out at me is how the religious leaders did absolutely NOTHING to help this man. They went to the other side of the road and passed by him. When I think about people who have religious mindsets, I tend to think about people who are given to extremes. I think they either do EVERYTHING or they do NOTHING.
Do you feel like you HAVE to be at church every time that the doors are open? Do you feel like you HAVE to serve on every committee that the boss creates? Do you feel like you HAVE to have your child on each sports team the rec league offers? If so, you may need to sit in your Father’s lap and just let Him love you. These extremes may not be the path that has the greatest blessings for your life. It may not be the path our Father wants for you.
Now, look back at the Samaritan, the man who the religious people viewed as an enemy. He was actually the one moved with compassion and this compassion caused him to take action. He stopped to take care of this man. He bandaged him up, took him to an inn and paid for his room.
But the thing that really caught my attention was that he did not stay with him the next day. This man continued on his way. He said he would come back, but he did not get distracted. He did not have a false sense of responsibility. I believe he received Divine direction and followed it. I also believe that the Father is telling us to live like that too. He wants us to go and do likewise.
My prayer for us today is that we will take the time to BeLoved and after we are, maybe Jesus will show us, people, who need our love and compassion – maybe it even our own self. Then, may we take the next step and get His game plan for how we are to minister to them. Let’s make a dedicated decision to do what He says – no more and no less! It takes having a vital relationship with the Lord in order to see how we fit into His plan. Do not give into the religiosity that would cause you to do EVERYTHING or NOTHING. Be well-balanced which will lead to obedience to His promptings!! This resolve can only come as you wake up and allow yourself to BeLoved Completely.