So in my New Testament class we talked about the story of the Good Samaritan this past week. And I think it’s one of those stories that you hear all the time, but since you hear it so much, you start to neglect it and the messages and applications that it could have in your life. That’s how I felt, but, once again, my New Testament teacher has opened my eyes and given me a deeper meaning that I thought to the story.
We talked specifically about the three people that passed by the man that was beaten and robbed by the thieves. The first man in Luke 10: 31 came “by certain chance…” This man was a priest. He probably walked on the opposite side of the street to avoid the process that helping the beaten man would have cost him. The second man, a Levite, came “likewise” unto the beaten and fallen man. And he looked and saw him and walked right by him. The third man, the Good Pharisee, came and the verse says “but a certain Pharisee Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,…” There is such a stark difference in the way the two men came as opposed to the Samaritan that came. The other two happened on the man by chance and avoided him purposefully. The Good Samaritan had no business being on that road, and yet, he was there.The Good Samaritan was so different; he purposefully went out looking for someone to help. To summarize the rest of the story, the Samaritan helped the man and took him to an inn that would nurse him back to health. He gave the host what he thought would be enough to help the man, but was willing to pay even more.
This is our story. This is the story of the children of God. We often are traveling going about our business when thieves come and take everything from us. They leave us bruised, broken, and helpless. We watch as many pass us by, them knowing of our despair, but not helping. And then we see a Samaritan–someone who is half Jew, half something else… Jesus is half Jew, half something else–who is looking for someone to help. He pays what he thinks will be needed to help the man be nursed back to health, but is willing to pay more if that’s what’s needed. That is only one side of the story though. Because sometimes we’re the beaten man, and other times we’re the priest, or the Levite, or even the Good Samaritan.
Lately the church has been greatly emphasizing missionary work. And not just the official missionaries, but also member missionaries. And I have felt a very strong calling on my life to be a missionary. I have no felt called to serve for 18 months, but I have felt called to bring people to know my Lord and Savior and to live with the fully restored gospel. And more than just being a missionary I have always felt a calling on my life to help others. To be a Good Samaritan. But I know that I’m not always going to be the Good Samaritan. I know that I sometimes fail at trying to be that. Sometimes I’m the priest and sometimes I’m the Levite. And I know that I’m the beaten man on the side of the road, watching people walk by me as I whither away.
But this story, and that class, opened my eyes. Sometimes I’m going to be the beaten man, more often than I’d like. And when I’m down trodden and beaten down, I do not want a lot of people to walk by me and not help me. And the only way to avoid that, is to be a Good Samaritan myself. I need to stop walking by the poor in spirit, the physically and emotionally beaten, the ones who Satan has taken everything good from them. I need to start going places specifically looking for people to help. Looking for people to serve in any way they need.
The stories in the Bible are our stories; what part are you going to play?