“The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”” – Luke 10:29
Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan, who was walking along the road and saw a Jewish man lying there about half dead after being robbed. A couple of supposedly holy people, a priest and a Levite, had passed by and did not help the man. However, passing by just a few minutes later was a man from Samaria. Normally, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along, but this Samaritan was so moved with compassion that he picked the injured man up, cared for his wounds, and then put the injured man up in a hotel until he was well.
This story has significance for the Christian and non-believer both. First off, it shows us that no matter the race, color, beliefs, or whatever might make us different, we are all to care for one another. The supposed holy people passed by the injured man in the story because of any number of excuses. Whether they were on their way somewhere and didn’t want to take the extra time to help, or perhaps they were repulsed by the man, thinking he was a drunkard just lying there in the road. Whatever the excuse they had and however holy they thought they were, their reaction was the wrong one. Compassion and charity demonstrates love, and love is straight from God Himself. Don’t be too busy being holy to be good.
The second and deeper message to take from this story is that we are not only the helpers, but we are the ones who need help. Our lives of sin and bad choices have left us bruised, broken, and lost. But along came Jesus. Though we were half dead from our wicked ways, Christ picks us up, washes us clean, and sets us on a new path. Many people, even close family or friends maybe, have passed us by either not wanting to get involved or thinking we were too far out of their way to help. We would be too much of a burden for the average man to help us, but Jesus is no average man. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of all. His compassion for His creation is boundless and demonstrates what the fullness of love truly is.
You are not alone in this crazy world. You are part of a true family that many people don’t acknowledge or take the time to understand. Jesus told us to love our neighbor, so who is our neighbor? The answer is that everyone is our neighbor. I don’t care what your background is, what religion you are, or what you did to get on that wrong path, my job is to love you. We are not always so good at that job, especially when we are having a bad day or if we are stuck in traffic. We get grouchy and self-centered, but we are instead supposed to be Christ-centered. We are to care for each other no matter what the differences between us are. Whether we agree with each other’s lives or lifestyles, we are all neighbors and brothers and sisters made by the same God.
Don’t look down on someone just because their sin might be different than your sin. Look past the differences on the outside and look to what God has placed on the inside. We all have the same Heavenly Father. The Good Samaritan didn’t complain about helping his fellow man, he just did it. Jesus says it’s our turn now. A little kindness today makes for a much better tomorrow.
God’s blessings to you.