I am working my way through the book of Luke and the parable of the Good Samaritan really impacted me. I have been reflecting on it everyday since then. Why? I have read it many, many times in my life. I have heard it told many, many times. But that impact should not surprise me because it's the Word of God—it speaks to us since it is living and powerful!
Jesus, like always, is teaching so much in this parable. It's packed! But one phrase jumped out at me: "He went over to him" (Lk. 10:34). In light of the actions of the two men before, this decision made a world of difference for this beaten, dying man!
But what compelled this Samaritan to "go over to him"? How did he overcome fear of the danger lurking among the crags of the mountain? What gave this man the love to overcome the prejudices of ethnicity, religion, and maybe more, to "go over to him"? Where did the "going the second mile" choice come from—to take the man to town and pay a doctor with a bottomless dollar option?!?
Jesus told this parable and had it recorded in Scripture to inspire reflection, conviction, questions, and inspiration! However, he does not want us to stay in the ivory tower of theory, but demands we put it to action with the command "go and do the same.”
How do we live out "he went over to him"? How can we be obedient in 2019, "going and doing the same"? Would you consider doing these two things?
1. Take some time to specifically pray about this
2. Take several minutes each day for the next several weeks to discuss this with your family or close friend about what it looks like to be a neighbor in 2019
Our family did this, and it was amazing the ideas we came up with on how we can be a neighbor to our neighbors. However, getting my children to think more globally was another challenge. We talked extensively about the neighbors on our street. But the idea that Jesus would want us to think broader than that was stretching and a little outside their box.
Is it outside your box? Do the needs of our neighbors in Yemen suffering from hunger, our neighbors in thousands of refugee camps all over the world, our billions of unreached neighbors, the millions of neighbors who do not have a verse of Scripture in their mother tongue, feel distant?
My children and I can relate to that. However, as we talked and prayed about it, I see a glimmer of hope. There is a vision dawning in my family and a burden to live out the spirit of "he went over to him.”
Yours for the King,
"Mission involves us going to people (whether 100 metres or 10,000 kilometres away), it does not mean inviting people to come to us." —Eddie Arthur