Summary: Being a friend to the hurting makes a huge difference in their life.
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The Good Samaritan
Luke 10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27 He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho,
POWERPOINT - Pictures of Jerusalem Road (5 pics, ending with one along the mountainside)
when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
In their defense:
> They were self-protecting. The robbers could have been waiting up on the rocks to see if someone stopped.
> They were probably on their way to Jerusalem to serve in the temple, which happened pretty rarely because of the large number of priests and levites. This was a huge honor and responsibility -- something a man might only get to do once.
> They probably felt like there wasn't much they could do... and if they did, it would take too long.
> If they touched a dead body, they would be unable to serve in the Temple --
"I have something to do for God..." "Just wish I knew what God wanted me to do..."
But do you do the thing in front of you?
Do you love the person in front of you?
The temptation is to think that it's some great thing -- but it might be just faithfulness with the unsavory task that's right in front of you. :)
"Someday I'm going to change the world, but right now, I have to change this kid's diaper."
It might be that the great plan of God is that you would simply do right, love your husband or wife, pray with them, invite people to church, show God's love, train your children, feed them -- LOVE the ones RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
If God's got something bigger, it will involve faithfulness with the little things first.
Holy Spirit-inspired vision...
Do you really see?
These guys saw, but not with God's eyes.... just human eyes.
33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
Literally in Greek, He had a gut-wrenching feeling for him. He was moved all the way down to his heart, to his gut.
Holy Discontent - Billy Hybels
Not discontent that I want a bigger house and a better car and a smarter phone... but HOLY discontent.
What is it in you that says "I am NOT OK with the way this is in my life."
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
He took him to a hotel, and treated his wounds.
35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Now we could just stop right there... there's not much to add.
But you know... why is this so hard for me? Why is it so hard to do the "unglorious" job, the thing right in front of me
Ever wonder if it's really going to MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
In case you think I want to share a story with you.
I have a friend who is a collector of ancient books and ancient documents. Recently, he acquired this one... and there's a fascinating story behind it.
Vellum document signed by Francis Asbury; August 1st, 1792.
In his autobiography, Peter Cartwright tells of the Methodist preacher who preached in their little cabin in Logan County, KY when he was nine years of age and planted a church in their community. His name, now long forgotten, was Jacob Lurton...and this is his ordination certificate.