Alone and Nearly Dead
Verse 30 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.
We find our victim on a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho. This was a common route for Jewish men to take. It was even thought to be a common route for priests and other Temple officials (more on that coming in the next few days). But this was no ordinary day for our man as he falls victim to some evil robbers.
First we need to pay attention that this was not a one on one attack. This tells us that it was premeditated. This wasn’t a crime of opportunity, they were likely waiting for someone, maybe even this certain man. These robbers were not just interested in stealing, they were in it to cause injury as well. They stripped him of his garments and beat him up before leaving him. They left him for dead. They knew just how far they could beat him without killing him. This would not have been an accident. They didn’t care about life but didn’t want to be guilty of murder. Remember our discussion the last couple of days about obeying the law and whether it was just obeying what it said or obeying what it meant?
We said that this is a common thoroughfare, so the man, if he could think at all at this point, would have been hoping someone would come along and rescue him. He was likely hoping that someone had been watching and would come to his rescue. But instead he suffered alone.
Since the man never says anything in the parable we can guess that he is either unconscious or so badly beaten that he can’t communicate. He was likely bloody, scraped, swollen and black and blue. It says that he was half dead and he may have been wishing they had finished the job. He may have been groaning in pain. Then comes the sounds of footsteps.
We have all had times in our lives that we have felt left for dead, at least in an emotional sense. As we move through this parable let’s not forget to think about things from our victim’s view too. It is easy to look at the lives of the other men in this story and forget that each of us have at least a sampling of what this man was dealing with. Maybe we should also ask ourselves if we have ever played the part of the robbers in someone else’s lives.
Making It Personal
When have you been beaten and left alone to suffer? Have you ever done that to someone else? What reason did you give yourself to say it was OK to do that to that person?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever been hurt by someone and felt like no one cared? Have you ever hurt someone else and not tried to help them? Would Jesus want you to help them?
Father, we are sorry for the times we have selfishly hurt others and caused them great pain. Please give us love for our neighbors and all that we come in contact with. In Jesus’ name, amen.