Summary: Being a good Samaritan is more than being religious. It is doing something when you don't know what to do. It is giving to those you do not know. It is being Christ-like disciples.
Being the Good Samaritan
As you are turning to Luke 10, I want to talk to you about being a good Samaritan as well as living a life of a good Samaritan. I believe there is a difference. Being one is a reference to an act. Do a good thing!Occasionly. Living as a good Samaritan is living everyday as a person doing good things. Maybe better stated as a compassionate person.
My friend who I worked for many years was recently in the hospital with heart problems. It got so bad that they sedated him and gave him the paddles to get his heart back in rhythm. I would suppose nothing will get your attention so much as drastic measures. I thought of him and I thought of Joe Davaney in ICU critical care and it made me think. Hym... ICU people are in critical care mode. People should be willing to do what ever it takes to get you from critical to stable. Not one of them had advance notice. They were all going about their day and life....BAM! Like Emerald would say. Life suddenly takes a different look. As we look at this passage, a familiar passage. It is not about talking a good game, it is about living and reacting the way the Lord would want us to.
Rude people bother me. Racist people bother me. Really, this is about our attitude. “I don’t have time for this” “I don’t know him, and he doesn’t look like me, so I will just walk away.”
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.” Psalm 103:8 He has proven to us over and over that he cares for us. Even in our sin, he desires to breakthrough and impact our lives. The world changes, and would be a better place if/when people are compassionate to each other. If we all had an attitude that it is critical and being compassionate would make people more stable. Christ-like believers know that loving others, even when we do not know them is really what life is all about. Let’s take a look at this. Jesus is in a debated conversation with an expert in the law. Lawyer to Jesus- what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus says- what does the law say? How do you interpret it? The lawyer answers “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, And...love your neighbor as yourself.” you have correctly answered- do this and live!
Then the lawyer gets full of himself. He should of left it alone, but then he does something stupid. “And who is my neighbor?” (Where do I draw the line?) Jesus teaches by illustration and recites the story of the good Samaritan. Lets look at this.
Samaritan travels alone from Jerusalem to Jericho. Dangerous road to travel- known as the road of blood.
Robbers- who rob and beat this man almost to death.
Priest- who does not want to in-convenience himself and change his plans.
Levite- lay people of the Temple. To religious and to full of himself.
Good Samaritan- on a journey, living life, going about his business.
All of those that are not mentioned. The rubber-neckers, the ones that slow up traffic to get a glimpse of someone hurt and suffering. Not really caring but sarcastically speaking- nosey! And meddlers! Jesus tells this story to the expert, and then asks which one do you think was a neighbor to the man that fell on hard times. The lawyer get’s it right- Jesus says go and do likewise! If you are truly going to be a neighbor. Do as the Samaritan does. Let me give you some thoughts here.
Compassion does something!- to pretend it didn’t happen, to walk away when someone is in need is wrong. Doing nothing doesn’t help anyone.
Compassion even in the religious folks sometimes lacks. As evidenced by the priest. If I get my hands dirty, if God forbid, this man is dead, I would defile myself and not be able to go to the Temple. Fact is, Scripture said he was coming back- Jerusalem to Jericho. He was without excuse . He should of helped.
Both the Priest and the Levite saw him! They chose to walk away, in fact , to the other side of the road.
Kitty Genovese story. At about 2:30 a.m., on March 13. 1964. Kitty Genovese , a 28 year old manager of a bar in Queens, New York, returned to her quiet residential neighborhood, parked her car in a lot adjacent to her apartment building, and began to walk the 30 yards through the lot to her door. Noticing a man at the far end of the lot, she paused. When he started toward her, she turned the other way and tried to reach a police call box half a block away. The man caught up and stabbed her. She started screaming that she been stabbed, and screaming for help. Lights went on in the apartment building across the street. Windows opened. One man called out, let that women alone. The assailant shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Windows closed and lights went out. The assailant returned and attacked her again. This time she screamed “I’m dying, I’m dying. This time more lights came on and more windows opened. The assailant walked to his car and drove off, leaving her to crawl along the street to her apartment. Somehow, she managed to drag herself inside. The assailant returned a third time, found her on the floor at the foot of her stairs, and finally succeeded in killing her. During those three separate attacks over 35 minutes, not one of the neighbors tried to intervene. No burly neighbor picked up a bat and dashed outside to save he life. Worst then that over 30 people saw at least one attack. Noone even called the police. The police were not called until after the girl was found dead.