Thursday, February 25, 2021

Which One Are You?

 Thursday, February 24, 2021 Some material taken from The Neighbor Lover

And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:31-34

Which One Are You?

The parable of the Good Samaritan has four key characters: The Traveler, The Priest, The Levite, and the Samaritan. Each character plays an important part in the lesson we can learn from this story.

The Traveler:
This man was traveling alone on a dangerous road. Some might call this being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Jericho road was never safe to travel alone and he probably knew that. He might have been a little irresponsible and should have known that he was taking a chance traveling this road alone. It could have been considered that he had no one to blame but himself for the situation that he found himself in. But Jesus points him out as one in need of mercy. Whether his hurting was self-imposed, or accidental he was still in need of mercy.

The Priest
The priest was a slave to religion. He was all out rituals, temple duties and going through all the motions. He was too busy to stop and help the traveler. To him, his duties were more important than the life of the man lying on the road. It sounds harsh but it is true. If he had even gone over to him and touched him, had he been dead then he would not He set the claims of ceremony above charity.  All the “things” he felt he needed to do prevented him from taking the time to stop and help someone. How many times have we all passed up someone who needed help because we didn’t have the time to get involved?

The Levite
The Levite thought he was better than others and that he could not take a risk by stopping to help someone.  One who considered self above others.  He was not willing to take a chance to stop and somehow get trapped or hurt himself.

"Showing mercy involves risk."  Because of the great mercy we have experienced ourselves from God, we should be the first ones to show mercy, not hold it back. It is not ours to keep, but to give away. If you are not willing to take a risk, then you will not ever be in the place to show compassion to others. Mercy and sacrifice go together. If we only serve God by doing “church things” and never get involved in hands on helping people, we will never know the abundant life He gives.

But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' Matthew 9:13a

The Samaritan
First of all, he stopped. He believed that helping another and this man's life was more important that whatever he was on his way to do. He took the risk to show mercy. He didn't believe he was above getting involved and helping another person. His credit was good (trustworthy), and he was known in the area. He was honest and prepared to help. The Samaritan showed what life is all about. He was simply an ordinary man who showed his care for others, especially those in trouble.

So, which one are you? Let me start off by saying that we are all travelers. We all get beaten down and left behind on the road of life at times. When you know someone who is in need of a friend, are you going to be too busy with all your church things or all your other things to stop and call them or have coffee with them so they can talk? Will you think you are too good and do not want to risk getting caught up in their issues? Or will you take the time to stop like the Samaritan man? Are you willing to take the risk to care about others as Jesus and the Good Samaritan did? God showed us mercy and love and He wants us to do the same for others in need. 


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