Holy Gospel According to St. Luke10:25-37
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said,
"what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 10:26 He said to him,
"What is written in the law? What do you read there?" 10:27 He
answered, "You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself." 10:28 And he said to
him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will
10:29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who
is my neighbor?" 10:30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who
stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he
saw him, he passed by on the other side. 10:32 So likewise a
Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the
10:33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when
he saw him, he was moved with pity. 10:34 He went to him and
bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he
put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of
him. 10:35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the
innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I
will repay you whatever more you spend.' 10:36 Which of these
three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the
hands of the robbers?" 10:37 He said, "The one who showed him
mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
The Gospel of the Lord . . .
As we consider the ways in which Jesus' story speaks to our
lives, I would like to propose that God tests our loyalty by
placing obstacles of opportunity into the pathways of our lives.
The question is . . . Will we go around these opportunities and so
avoid having to overcome the challenges that they represent or
will we dive into the problems they present in order to solve them
or fix what is apparently wrong?. The choice we make may depend on
our frame of mind at the time we encounter the challenge . . . .
or it may depend on what resources we feel are available to us and
our comfort level with strangers or unfamiliar circumstances.
So what resources do we have to draw on when we are confronted
with Someone else's situation of adversity??
If you are young and have good health, your greatest resource
might be your physical strength . . . with good sense and strength
of body . . . you may be able to physically deliver another person
from danger, like a fireman or a policeman or woman. Being
physically fit, you might be able to assist someone in need by
helping them to fix their house after a flood or other storm
damage. Or you might be able to fix a friend's bicycle that gets a
flat tire . . .
On the other hand, if your not able to lift heavy things as
though to save someone from peril or your not mechanically
inclined to assist someone with a practical problem -- then your
approach to the times when an obstacle of opportunity presents
itself -- may be completely different. Using your head in a
potentially dangerous or challenging situation can lead to a
positive outcome for the party in trouble. Perhaps by using your
skills in Reasoning – there will be longer lasting results for
someone who has suffered an injury or loss. The gift of Reason or
Thinking through a person's dilemna could enable them to gain
long-term help or resources that would aid in their recovery.
Keep in mind here, that we are examining various ways that the
travelers "might have helped" the injured man that they
encountered while traveling down the road.
Maybe your gift is not with thinking out the master plan, but
you're a great organizer, you might have Communication skills to
reach others and get people working together toward the same
goals. In an emergency or time of crisis . . . there are many
kinds of human resources that can be helpful to solve an
individual's problem or to provide immediate assistance to many
people in danger or with any need.
IN the lesson of the Good Samaritan, Jesus has a unique way of
addressing all of us and convicting us of our "self-absorption".
By this I mean to say that we are not unlike the priest or the
Levite in this story. Seeing a stranger lying on the side of the
road in need of help would undoubtedly disturb us, but with equal
intensity we know ourselves well enough to admit that; there's a
strong likelihood we probably would not stop to help. In our minds
we'd be thinking: "I wouldn't want to get involved." Or "I'll be
late for work!" Or "I wouldn't know what to do to help them."
"They might have some kind of disease, better to let the
professionals take care of them -- besides, they're paid to do
I make these points, not to put any one of us on the spot, nor
to dismiss us from responsibility, But to point out the truth of
our reluctance to get involved with someone else's problem and
that there are practical considerations that we are aware of.
Nevertheless, JESUS IS TELLING US THAT BEING GOD'S CHILDREN
ENTAILS BECOMING INVOLVED WITH OTHERS – and THAT THE "OTHER PERSON
(whom we don't know)" WHO BECOMES An Obstacle in your PATH or
Mine, might just be the connecting link God has introduced into
your busy world so that you can SERVE GOD – be about God's work
and less stressed out by your own!
Jesus uses the story about the "Good Samaritan" to demonstrate
for the smart, young lawyer (and us) what is required of God to
get closer to inheriting eternal life. Or as the lawyer inquires
of Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" To which Jesus
replies, "Do this, and you will live."
In the most simplistic terms, Jesus tells the Lawyer not to
neglect the people who are poor or who are the untouchables in his
world. But rather, please God, by treating all people with dignity
and respect (as much as you might treat someone who is from your
own family, or someone who is famous or wealthy). Jesus proposes a
complete reversal of the society norms the lawyer is used to . . .
perhaps we should note the strikingly familiar societal
expectations of today. After all, when you see a successful lawyer
today, more than likely they're not associating with folks that
are poor, unless its in a court of law!
Jesus is asking the priviledged to move out of their comfort
zone and associate with people of lesser position in life, help
these ones to improve their position. Jesus particular emphasis is
that God's People should not treat others according to their class
or social status (although this may get you ahead by worldly
standards) but that we are to treat all people equally as God
would . . . . and if you do this you are closer to God, or, as
Jesus says in Mark's version of the Good Samaritan Story, "You are
not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34b).
A TRUE STORY: Perhaps you have heard(??)
"The story is told, and I presume that it is true, of a wealthy
family in England who took their children for a weekend in the
country. While they were there, the children went swimming, and
one of them began to drown. The other children called for help,
and the gardener's son jumped in and saved the child.
Afterwards, the grateful parents asked what they might do to
show their appreciation. The gardener told them that his son
wanted to go to school and become a doctor, and he would be
grateful if they could help with his education -- which they
Many years later, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was stricken
with pneumonia, and the king asked that everything possible be
done to help him. They turned to Dr. Alexander Fleming, who had
discovered penicillin and thus made it possible to treat
pneumonia. Under his care, Churchill slowly improved and finally
came back to full health.
Of that incident, Churchill said, "Rarely has one man owed his
life twice to the same rescuer." You see, Dr. Fleming was the
gardener's son who saved Churchill from drowning as a boy.
This story should make us acutely aware of how connected we are
to each other. If the Churchill family had been less generous and
had given some lesser gift than an education, Alexander Fleming
might have been a gardener rather than a doctor -- and Churchill's
pneumonia might have carried him away prematurely.
Let us Pray,
Lord help us to respond to the needs of others around us who
are in need. Give us discernment as to when and how we might help
those you place in our life paths. In Jesus name we pray.
more writings of Pastor Jon