A Few Thoughts on the Good Samaritan

December 3, 2016

help2The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37 is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible.  The characters are familiar:  the traveler, the robbers, the priest, the Levite – and finally, our hero – the Samaritan.  We know the plot, too – man robbed; man ignored by priest and Levite; man helped by Samaritan.  But that’s the “Who” of the story.  What can we learn from the Samaritan’s actual response?

Four things to think about:

  • The Samaritan’s response was action-oriented.  The contrast between the Samaritan and the others who passed by is very clear:  all three had the opportunity to take action, but only the Samaritan did so.
  • It was immediate.  He didn’t go home first to get supplies and come back; he served the injured man with what he had with him – right there, right then.
  • It was a long-term commitment.  The Samaritan knew that his initial action, while necessary, wasn’t enough.  Once he had taken care of the man’s immediate needs, the Samaritan arranged for ongoing care.
  • And it was complete.  He promised to return – his role in the story wasn’t over with the initial treatment, or even the long-term care plan.

So what does “Go and Do Likewise” look like in today’s world?

  • Do it!  Volunteer at the Clothes Closet and Food Pantry.  Read to a child.  Send a card.  Be a friend to someone who needs one.  Pray.
  • Do it now!  Don’t wait until it gets warmer, colder, school starts, school ends, things settle down.  Don’t let excuses get in the way of taking action.
  • Do it for the long term!  The need you see may be the tip of the iceberg.  Be open to where the Spirit may lead you.
  • Do it completely!  Recognize that you’re now a part of a different story – one that will bless you as much as it blesses others.

Go and do likewise.

In Christ’s love – jmw

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.