“The Parable of The Good Samaritan” – you can read it from Luke 10:25-37. You probably know it well. Perhaps too well.
This is a passage to which many of us have grown tone deaf. When we grow familiar with things we assume too much and listen too little. I believe this passage speaks volumes and speaks loudly. I hope that this short post is able to chip away at the familiar.
Allow me to retell this story. Allow me to use a created scenario that might hit closer to home than a story about a distant stranger traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Using first-person gives it a flare of intimacy.
I’ve made mistakes and I’m not proud of any of them. Yet, most of my mistakes are not on display for all to see. This one is. Everyone knows. There is no hiding it.
My marriage has been struggling for a long time. Really struggling. But let’s not get into that mess this morning.
I always went to church with my spouse. Could I go alone? I don’t know so I don’t go. Friends at church don’t know what to say to me. They aren’t mean. They’re just indifferent. I bump into church friends at sporting events. Conversations are short and awkward. I don’t blame them. I don’t know what to say to them and they don’t know what to say to me. It just makes me sad. Well, more lonely than sad.
Yet, the morning after a particularly nasty fight with my spouse my neighbor knocked on the door. I thought she was upset … she’s always upset about something. My kids were playing too loudly in the yard. My dog used their grass for a restroom. She was always upset and us church folk always remarked, “That lady needs Jesus.” Yet, she wasn’t upset. She was kind. She was caring. She asked, “Last night sounded rough. Are you OK?” It was the most comforting question I’d heard in months. It sounded like a question Jesus would ask me.
Same story. Different scenario. Perhaps that chips away at the familiar just a bit.
Yet, Jesus takes the story even further. The hero of Jesus’ story goes past mere kindness and moves to sacrifice on behalf of someone else.
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to love God and love others. And that job description is a difficult one. We are called to love to the point of sacrifice.