Summary: This message explains the necessity of giving to a compassionate ministry so others might be helped. The parable of the Good Samaritan in LUKE 10 is used as the example.
Open your bibles to the book of LUKE, chapter 10. Let us read verses 30-37.
One day, as Jesus was teaching, a religious leader stood and, wanting to test Jesus, asked him, “Teacher, what should I do if I want to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded by asking the religious leader what the Law of Moses said.
The man responded by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, it also says to, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Jesus then told the man that if he did as he was commanded in that scripture, he would live. But the man wanted to press it even further, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus responded by telling him the parable about the Good Samaritan. Let us turn to verse 30 and begin reading there. I am using the New Living Translation.
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.
32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.
34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus then told the scholar to “go and do likewise”.
Let me tell you a love story. Actually, let me tell you a story of love.
Raymond Dunn, Jr. was born in New York State in 1975. It was reported at the time of his birth, the baby had a skull fracture and severe oxygen depreivation, causing extreme retardation. The boy would never be normal in any sense of the word.
As he grew, other problems became known. He suffered up to 20 seizures a day; he was blind; he was mute; and he was unable to move any part of his body. In addition, the young child had allergies to everything except on kind of food. And that food is all he could eat. It was a meat based product that was only made by the Gerber baby food company.
In 1985, Gerber Foods stopped making that food. In a panic that only a mother could know, his mother travelled throughout the country, buying up all the formula she could find in stores. But in 1990, her supply simply ran out.
Knowing her ill son would die without it, she appealed to the Gerber Food Company on compassionate grounds to start remaking it so her son could live. The employees of the company listened; and, in an unprecedented action, they volunteered hundreds of hours, above their normal work shifts, and brought out the old equipment used to make the food she needed.
With permission from the Food and Drug Administration, they were able to set up a production line and get all the necessary ingredients to start making that food again . . . for just one boy . . . for no profit . . . and no personal rewards.
In January 1995, Raymond Dunn, Jr., known as the "Gerber Boy," died from his physical problems. However, through his very rough life, and unbeknownst to him, he was responsible for seeing a revival in this nation for something called “compassion”. The story of his death was put in most of the newspapers in America, and the nation mourned along with his mother.
Jesus, the Christ, in the passage I read a moment ago, was talking to a religious leader who asked Him the question, "Who is my neighbor?" What he really meant was, "Who should I love?" or "Who should I have compassion for?" Jesus responded with the "Parable of the Good Samaritan."
As we read this parable, we need to understand that this story is simply used as an example of the need for compassion. The situations that we find ourselves in - the ones that require our compassion - will be very different than the one described by Jesus, but the issue remains exactly the same: “How will we respond when compassion is called for?”