March 23, 2022

Luke 10:25-37 (HCSB) The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 Just  then an expert in the law  stood up to test  Him, saying, “Teacher,  what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  26 “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?”  27 He answered:  Love the Lord your God  with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind;  and your neighbor as yourself.   28 “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself,  he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  30 Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan  on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion.  34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil  and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day  he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’  36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy  to him,” he said.  Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”

Joel Robertson
 In this parable, we see the foundation of what it takes to be a good neighbor, to go beyond ourselves and help those that do evil to us and hate us. As children, we came to know and love this parable about how neighbors should show love. However, as an adult, I have come to see that there is more to this interchange between Jesus and this lawyer. I wrestle with these two questions. Why did Jesus ask the lawyer what was his summation of the Law if He knew that our will, our desires, will never be able to be in complete alignment with the Will of the Father here on earth? In verse 30, why did Jesus distinguish these two cities and choose these two cities, Jericho and Jerusalem, from any of the others that He could have chosen? But this I do know – we have no justification for vengeance to those who hate us. We should pray for those who persecute us and show kindness and charity to those who hate us.

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