Living for Another's Gain
Verses 36-37 “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.”
We reach the end of our delving into the parable of the Good Samaritan. It has been quite a journey from the safety of our homes. We have witnessed robbers, assault, religious snobbery, generosity and compassion. Which lessons are we going to take with us? Obviously we aren’t wanting to take thievery or abuse into our future but those are the easier ones to leave behind.
When it comes to religious snobbery we don’t really like to think that we suffer from it but if we are honest about it, each one of us lives this out nearly daily. We look at people through the eyes of our assumed righteousness and think ourselves better than the next guy or gal. We may not say it – let’s face it the priest and Levite didn’t say it either – but thoughts race through our mind that show the truth of our hearts. How would we like it if people thought about us the things we think about them? If someone walked into church that you don’t know and they don’t look like someone you would normally associate with, do you greet them or ignore them?
How do we measure up in the generosity department? Do we give cheerfully? We need to remember that generosity isn’t about giving the bare minimal nor is it giving the leftovers of our life. And it isn’t just about money. We are called to be generous with everything. We need to give freely of our resources, time and energy. The early Church gave for the betterment of everyone. They gave lovingly. Just like our Good Samaritan. He used his own resources, time and energy. He blessed the man whom others had passed by, not for his own gain or glory but because he knew compassion.
Compassion is something that seems less common in our day than 50 years ago. People are mocked for showing compassion to the underdog or the injured. But even our lawyer knew that this is what truly followed the law of God. It wasn’t about what we can get from God, namely eternal life, but what God wants from us towards our fellow man. This is the whole point of Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan. Our living can’t be about what we can get out of a relationship with God but what do those around us gain from our relationship with Him.
Making It Personal
How are those around you being impacted by your relationship with Christ? Do they know you as a person of compassion? What needs to change in your life to increase the effectiveness of your relationship with God?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to be nice to someone? Who are we to be nice to? Who can you be nice to today that you wouldn’t normally be nice to?
Father, thank You for teaching us by example what it means to be compassionate. Father, we desire to obey You by loving You with everything in us and loving our neighbor as ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.