As I was reading the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-35) a couple of months ago, the Holy Spirit allowed for me to see the relevance of the parable in an entirely new, convicting light. I hope that you are able to experience His desires for the love that we demonstrate to those in our realm of influence through this post!
Check out this scripture in Luke 10…
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
I’ve read this passages many times before but it wasn’t until recently that I felt a challenge in the way that I view the hurt of those around me and the love that I demonstrate to those who are hurting. Now here we see a man who was robbed, stripped of his clothing, beaten, and left for dead (vs. 30). Can you imagine riding along your street and seeing a man in this condition? Can you imagine seeing this man and driving along as if you saw nothing at all like the priest and the Levite (vs. 31-32) did? I’m sure you would at minimum call the police if you saw a scene like this. I’m sure in this situation, most of us would do SOMETHING (our natural instinct to help would kick in) to help the hurting, dying man.
But what do you ACTUALLY do when you see people in this situation? No, we may not ever see a man literally beat up and dying on the side of the street but what we do see often are people who are beat up and wounded spiritually and emotionally. We do know people who are oppressed by the tactics of the enemy of their soul (John 10:10) who are in need of the love of Christ that liberates and sets free. We know people who are living life without any regard for God, we know people who are mean and difficult to love because the light of Christ is not fully filling their hearts, we know people who make bad decisions because they are being led by their own desires instead being led by Christ, and we know people who are selfish and prideful. It may be a friend, it may be a co-worker, it may be a church member, it may be a family member, or it may be a stranger. The point is this, though we don’t always see people who are physically beaten up, we regularly see people who are spiritually and emotionally beat up. The pain has been shaped by their life experiences and insecurities, it has been shaped by the distorted truth that the enemy has told them about themselves, it has been shaped by their disappointment in the people in their lives, etc. And Jesus is giving the lawyer who is challenging Him (and all of us) this as an example of how he expects us to love our neighbor.
In order for us to see the relevance of this passage for our life we must first realize this:
The Word of God is The final authority!
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
Jesus isn’t just talking to the lawyer who is challenging Him in this scripture but He has something for all of us to see, understand, and apply. Every part of the bible is meant to communicate something about God’s love and His desire for His children. So we have to ask ourselves, when Jesus is talking about love here, what is he saying about the way that he desires for us to love? I’ve surmised the following:
A few tips on how to be a Modern Day Samaritan (And love The wounded):
- Call for Help: When we become aware that we have a friend, co-worker, family member, acquaintance, or stranger that is wounded we must call on The Lord for help. We need God’s help to intervene in their situation, we need God’s help to give us the strength and wisdom to love them in a supernatural way (let’s be real, we don’t always feel like loving people selflessly).
- Pray for a Compassionate Heart: It’s so easy to have a hard heart. It’s easy to dwell on how jacked up a person is, how much help they need, and focus on their issues. It takes a compassionate heart to see past a person’s actions and love them anyway. One of my favorite preachers, Chip Ingram (livingontheedge.org), said it best: “As Christians, we have to see past a person’s actions and behavior to their need and eternity”. What a challenge?! And this challenge can only be met by a righteous, holy, perfect God who allows for us to share in His character through the power of His Holy Spirit that He has sent to live inside of our hearts.
- Total Dependence on God: It’s not easy but necessary! Unlike learning from people who can teach us how to do something that we can master, we never become completely competent in loving people. We have to look to God for guidance, humility, and strength when it comes to loving others in the way that the Good Samaritan did. It takes a lot of prayer and a continually recognition of your weakness in light of God’s strength.
So, who in your world is wounded? Who in your world needs an extended hand of love and grace? How will you respond? Hopefully you’re challenged to respond in love and see the person through the lens of Christ (their need and eternity) and not see them only through a carnal lens. It’s not easy, but God didn’t promise that it would be; He did promise to help those who seek Him.
Hooked on His Anchor,