Summary: This message looks at Goodness and Kindness in relation to the parable of the Good Samaritan
He had woken up with a bad feeling about today, but that wasn’t unusual, he hated getting up in the morning and always woke up with a bad feeling. But now he was certain that he should have stayed in bed. It had started as just another day, and part of his day included a trip to Jericho. Not a long trip, and physically not an altogether difficult trip. If we were to pull up a map here, anyone getting tired of Denn’s maps, if you are let me know on the back of your communication card. And if we were to zoom in on the area immediately surrounding Jerusalem we would discover that Jericho was a twenty mile walk from the capital, and it was all down hill. Jerusalem was 2300 feet above sea level and Jericho was near the Dead Sea 1300 feet below sea level, a drop of 3600 feet over that 20 miles. And while physically it wasn’t a tough walk it was a dangerous walk, this was a bad area and as recently as the 1930’s it was still considered a dangerous trek. The path was narrow and twisting and provided all kinds of places to hide and then jump out and rob the unsuspecting.
And that is what happened to him, he was merrily going on his way, thinking about the end of the journey when suddenly he was mugged. A whole bunch of them jumped out from behind a rock, beat him to the ground stole all his money and then to add insult to injury they stole his clothes. He hurt so bad he couldn’t move, maybe if he just laid still the hurt would go away. And just when he was ready to just allow himself to drift away someone arrived, he sensed more then saw their presence and when he opened his eyes he could just make out the hem of their robe, a priest, it was a priest, thank God. But as quickly as the religious leader arrived he left, it almost seemed that he rushed away, and the man was alone, again.
When the next person approached the man tried to speak, but the effort was too great and it just came out as kind of a croak. It didn’t matter the second man rushed away too, and the traveller laid his head back on the rocky soil, and wondered how long he would last in the hot Palestinian Sun.
He didn’t respond to the sound of the third set of footsteps, and hardly felt his head being lifted from the hard ground and cradled in the strangers arm. The newcomers callused hands were gentle as he washed the man’s wounds and bandaged the worst of them. Who was he, and why was he helping, the questions came to his lips but were silenced when his rescuer told him in to conserve his strength. But even that brought questions to mind because of the strange accent the words were spoken with.
And then, he was helped to mount his saviour’s donkey and he rode while the stranger walked alongside steadying him on his mount. The trip ended at an Inn close to Jericho but the care continued into the next day when the stranger continued on his journey, but not before leaving money to cover any additional expenses.
We all know the story, it’s the story of the good Samaritan and even those in the world who don’t know that Jesus originally told the story know what a good Samaritan is.
Jesus used this story to illustrate the point of loving those around us, a lawyer had asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answer was what do you think you have to do? And the Lawyer answered in Luke 10:27 “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ ” To which Jesus responded “Ok, you know what to do, do it.” I love the next part because the bible says the lawyer wanted to justify his actions and so he asked “And who is my neighbour?” This would make me think that probably the guy was very religious but not all that much fun to be around. We all know people like that, they find it easier to love God than to love people.
While he wasn’t much of a lawyer because he broke the cardinal rule of being a lawyer. I’m not a lawyer but I read a lot of novels about lawyers and I know that you never, ever, under any circumstances ask a question that you don’t know the answer to, cause if you do you will get zapped. And Jesus zapped him. Who loved their neighbour? The guy who was kind, the others blew it. Jesus didn’t allow any room for excuses or yeah buts at all. It was very cut and dried, if you want to love your neighbour you do it by helping to meet their needs. Who is our neighbour? The people you come into contact with on a daily basis.