I heard a story of a Muslim fundamentalist who was hell bent on travelling on a journey to kill Christians. On this journey, he had a serious car accident. As God would have it, it was a Christian family that stopped by to help the man from the wreckage. They took him to hospital and pay the bills. This act of kindness surprised the man, changed his views about Christians, and later gave his life to Christ ; become a devoted christian and a minister of the Gospel.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:25-29 NIV
The scriptures above was a story told by Jesus in response to the questions asked by a religious expert (Lawyer) as a test for Jesus. But thank God this question was asked because the meaning of this parable teaches us a great lesson.
The question was about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered and said, ‘love is the answer’: The love of God and love of man. The prove of loving God is how you love people.
The second question the man asked was so interesting. He asked, ‘who is my neighbour?’ Jesus answered this questions by telling the Parable of Good Samaritan. This story can be found in Luke chapter 10 from verses 25 to 37
From the Parable of the Good Samaritan there are three characters to study.
A Levite (Temple assistant)
Priest: Surprisingly, One would think this man as a man of God, representing God, would be quick to help and show compassion to this victim. I believe it was divinely arranged for him to be the first person to show up, still he walked away and distanced himself from the plight of this man. Despite this man was in great pain (possibly crying for help), still, the priest shows no empathy.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2 KJV)
I believe we can relate this story to the disposition of many priests, man and woman of God in our day. Many are like this priest; no compassion, no kindness. They would prefer to build an empire than to help even the church members. If Church shy away from helping members how would they help the outsider. The church could be of help to families and communities, where governments have failed.
- A Levite: In the old testament, all priests are Levites, being taken from the tribe of Levi, but not all Levites are priests. Levites helped the Priests in their duties (Numbers 1:50; 3:6, 8; 16:9; Ezra 3:8-9). Just like the priest, a Levite also represents religious person. If the Priest could ignore, no wonder the Levites. Probably they listen to the same sermons and practices the same doctrine. This tells us that many church members may not take any action until they see the church leaders taking part. No wonder the body of Christ are negligent in this area because the church leadership is not taking any step in this way. The church and believers should be at the cutting edge in serving the poor, widow, orphans and the destitutes. We don’t need to wait till we are bidden. If the plight is obvious the need is obvious.
- A Samaritan: Thank God this man shows up. He had compassion on the wounded man and stopped to do the needful. God will always get His job done. When the people that are expected to fulfil the desires of God refuses, He doesn’t waste time in replacing them and use somebody else instead (Luke 19:40). This Samaritan did what is required of us, he stopped, applied first aid treatment, lodged the victim in a safe place, get him fed, and also left him enough money for sustenance. This is compassion at his best! This is what the victim need and that is what he got.
A great lesson must be learned by all of us as Church (Leadership) and believers. Our neighbours are not necessarily people that attend our churches, but also those outside the four walls of the church. They need a practical assistance we can provide. It is our practical assistance that will make Christianity attractive to the unbelievers. The needs of the needy must be our concern.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” …Mahatma Gandhi
In conclusion, Jesus asked the man who among those three guys treated the wounded man as a neighbour. The man’s answer was the obvious one, it is the Samaritan. But Jesus statement to the man was profound. He told the man,‘You go, and do likewise’. When we love our neighbours as ourselves, just like the Samaritan, it is then we will inherit eternal life. Anything short of this is not acceptable to God. We are commanded to go and do likewise. All the actors from this story are individuals. We can all individually change our world for the better if we all play our part very well.
Matt 25:45 (NLT) “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
Who, then, is my neighbour?
- Any individual in need (financial, emotional, spiritual, physical)
- Anyone who requires the gospel of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Any individual who is, hurting, in distress, suffering.
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, this is the right time to do so. You are not reading this post by accident.
You only need to confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour;
Do so prayerfully and with the depth of your heart. To do that, please click here ⇐