Sunday, September 29, 2013

Good Samaritan

     In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. `Look after him,’ he said, `and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’  "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"  The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise”   ~Luke 10:30-37  
        Jesus told us a story of a man set upon by thieves.  The man was beaten, robbed, and left, naked and bleeding on the side of a dusty road leading to Jericho.  The first two men, a priest and a Levite hurried by.   In fact, Jesus said they crossed the road and passed by.  They saw the man, but did not respond to his need.  Then a Samaritan came down the road.  He saw the needy man, just as the others had seen him, but instead of continuing on, his heart was moved with compassion.  He saw the man as an opportunity to give and to serve.  Instead of passing by, the Samaritan stopped and met the man where he was.
     The Samaritan was likely not any richer than the priest of the Levite, yet he gave his possessions freely.  He bandaged the man's wounds.  He offered his oil, his wine, and his time.  Then he placed him on his donkey and walked  to an inn.  There the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to care for the wounded man.   His care was not half hearted, but complete.  He simply did what he could with what he had to help another.  And the Samaritan did all of this for a complete stranger.
     Each of us were put on this earth to make a contribution.  We love God by loving others.  We serve Him by serving others.  We all have something to offer to God, because He has given us something to give.  What is mine is God's, because He has given me everything that I have.
     God has placed in our lives people to whom we are called to minister and help, people who need us.  The parable of the Samaritan clearly taught that life is not to be found in living for self, but rather in GIVING OF SELF in the service of God and others!
     Were we not poor, naked, and bleeding when Jesus stopped for us?

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