We’ve all heard the story of the Good Samaritan, but I think we can view this story as a cute Children’s Church story and miss the messages behind it. In knowing the story, I want to encourage us to not just know about good Samaritans, but to be good Samaritans. Here are some ways we can do that…
1. Act without excuses. Both the Levite and the Priest were supposedly godly men who you would think would stop to help this man who was severely beaten. But instead of stopping, getting help, or checking for a pulse, they quickly pass on the other side. You could imagine the things that could be going on inside the Levite and Priest’s heads. There were a million and one excuses of why they shouldn’t or couldn’t help this man. Charles Spurgeon once said: “I never knew a man refuse to help the poor who failed to give at least one admirable excuse.”
The Bible says: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James
All the well wishes, prayers, and “hope-you-feel-better-soons” mean nothing when not accompanied by action. What good is it? The man is still hurt even if you wish them well.
That homeless man is still cold even if you pray for him to stay warm. That man on the side of the road is still hungry even if you roll down your window and wish for him to be fed. Should you pray for them? Absolutely! But let your prayers be accompanied with action as the Samaritan did.
2. Be blinded by compassion. Jews and Samaritans hated each other. They couldn’t agree on where or how to worship. They were racially divided. They did not have anything to do with each other. Yet when the Samaritan comes upon this man who is injured, he has a blind compassion for him. When he saw the need, he doesn’t see the race or the reasons that they were divided, he just saw another person who needed help.
We should be so blinded with compassion that when we see someone in need, we don’t see anything else. When our enemy or the person we don’t like very much is in need, we shouldn’t see all the things we dislike about them, but we should be moved with compassion for them as Jesus was for us.
3. Love sacrificially. The Samaritan could have just picked him up and dropped him off in the next town. But he went above and beyond. He inconvenienced himself by stopping to bandage him. He gave of his own supply the wine and oil to make him comfortable. He sacrificed his comfort to allow the man the ride on his own donkey. He gave of his money to take care of a man whom he had never met.
How many of us love sacrificially? Can you imagine a world where we did? Jesus loved us so sacrificially that He gave Himself up to die for our sins. If Jesus could do that for us, how much more can we sacrificially love others? As Jesus said, when He ended this story, “Go and do likewise.”
Zachary Ludden is the youth pastor at the Church of Christ. He may be reached by calling 559-592-2909.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
– This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.