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So in my internet travels, I came across a post where there was a discussion on how much in way of dollars in humanitarian aid was being sent to Ukraine. In the ensuring conversation, a professing Christian mentioned while they felt for the situation, Ukraine wasn’t our issue–and our focus should be on the United States. What really saddened me was the tone and the harsh, thoughtless word choices this person used to punctuate their opinion.
Initially, I was a bit offended by what I read. In my heart I was like, “really?” “Where is your compassion?” “You do know Jesus, right?” Then, the Lord reminded me I had said such things in my B.C.(before Christ) days, and thankfully, He had forgiven me, so I needed to forgive the offender and let it go! After Jesus helped me to remove the beam from my eye, (see Matthew 7:1-5), I was clear to see how to compose this post to His glory!
Getting back to the point of the post, I am reminded of the very familiar parable Jesus told in Luke 10:25-37, KJV:
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
When we think about the lawyer, he was in expert in knowing the law and quoted it correctly. Next, he wanted to know exactly who is neighbor was, so he knew who he was supposed to love as himself.
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
The priests served as the mediators between God and the people. They are the ones who took the people’s sacrifices and offered them up to God (Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31; Hebrews 8:4). The High Priest, in particular, represented the whole nation of Israel before God (Exodus 28:12; Hebrews 5:1). When a priest sinned, he brought guilt not only upon himself, but also upon the whole people (Leviticus 4:3). The priests also interceded on behalf of the people before God (Leviticus 9:22-24; Numbers 6:22-27). And they would inquire of God for the nation (Exodus 28:30). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)
This mediator, interceder and inquirer to God looked at a wounded man, and passed him by.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
The Levites, members of the same tribe, but who were not descendants of Aaron, served as aides to the priests, doing things like helping to prepare the sacrifices. They took care of the temple, making repairs when needed, and served as musicians, singers, doorkeepers. (Numbers 1:50-53; 3:6-9; 4:1-33; I Chronicles 23). The Levites were also the teachers of Israel (Deuteronomy 24:8; 33:10; II Chronicles 35:3; Nehemiah 8:7) and the nation’s scribes (II Chronicles 34:13). The Levites were also the nation’s judges (Deuteronomy 17:8-9; 21:5; I Chronicles 23:4; II Chronicles 19:8; Ezekiel 44:15, 24). They were also the nation’s regulators. For instance, they were responsible for accurate weights and measures used in Israel (I Chronicles 23:29; Leviticus 19:35-36). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)
This aide to the priest, musician, singer, scribe, regulator and judge came and looked at the half-dead man and passed on the other side of the road.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Jesus using a Samaritan in the parable was very intentional, as it relates to love. After Assyria invaded Israel, the Northern Kingdom and resettled it with its own people, (see 2 Kings 17:24-41), some Jews intermarried with other people and the mixed race became known as the Samaritans. Full-blooded Jews considered themselves pure descendants of Abraham and despised the “half-breed” Samaritans and of course, the Samaritans hated the Jews.
While the priest and Levite may have passed the man as they strictly interpreted the law (the man was bleeding and may have been ceremonially considered unclean–see Leviticus 5:3), the “despised” Samaritan demonstrated the law of love. He cleaned the man’s wounds with oil and wine, bound them up, put the man on his own beast while he walked, brought him to an inn, nursed him for the night, instructed and paid the host to take care of him AND promised to repay the innkeeper for anything more he spent when he came back. There was no quibbling or discussion about not being from the same country, or race, or who needed more help–the Samaritan just helped! That is what love does, BCUFam!
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
BCU Fam, did you notice in the “a” part of the verse 37 where the lawyer said, “he that shewed mercy” rather than saying the “Samaritan”? That showed a lack of love, even though he stated that was the law. What is in our hearts comes out of our mouths! May the Lord help our words and heart mediations to be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14).
I have read this parable more than one time, BCU Fam, and it really spoke to my spirit as a call to action for all of us to do what we can, as the Lord leads us to be a blessing to someone. How? We can start by intentionally and fervently praying for others. 2 Timothy 2-1:4 says, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Then we need to be the answer to someone’s prayers. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (I John 3:17-18).
The Lord knows we we cannot help everyone, but we all can help in some way. Rather than have respect of persons in our love, (James 2:8-10), let’s pray and ask God who we can love on and be a neighbor to. Amen? Amen!
BCU Fam, what are your thoughts on our topic? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!
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