Summary: We know the story of the good Samaritan. It’s about being in the face of human suffering and how we respond.
INTRO.- We know the story of the good Samaritan. It’s about being in the face of human suffering and how we respond.
The Living Sermon.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day,
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way,
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear.
The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
Amen? I admit that this is very true. But if it’s true for me, it’s also true for thee! Why? Because if we all claim to follow Christ and want to do good then why don’t we do that good?
Saying and doing are sometimes two different things.
ILL.- Preacher Vance Havner used to tell this story: Years ago a convention met in Indianapolis to discuss “How to Reach the Masses.” One day during that convention a young man stood on a box on a corner and began to preach. A crowd gathered, mostly workingmen going home to dinner. They were electrified by the sermon. They forgot that they were tired and hungry.
The crowd became so large that it had to move. The preacher announced that he would preach again at the Academy of Music. They followed him down the street, singing as they went, and they filled the main floor of the building, while he preached again with such power that many were moved to tears.
But he had only a few minutes to preach because the convention on “How to Reach the Masses” was gathering in the same auditorium. While the convention was discussing how to reach the masses, Preacher D.L. Moody was doing it!
It’s one thing to talk about preaching Christ and it’s another to actually preach Christ to people! And that’s what Moody was doing. We talk about Jesus in the church but what about outside?
And it’s one thing to talk about human suffering and another thing to do something about it. And I am somewhat embarrassed by the thought of how little I have done.
ILL.- A Bishop Tucker of Uganda was an artist, but how did he become a bishop? One day he was painting a picture of a poor woman, holding a baby, wandering homeless on a stormy night on the dark, deserted street.
As the picture grew, the artist suddenly threw down his brush, exclaiming, “Instead of merely painting a picture of a lost soul, I will go out and save them.” And he went to Africa.
Obviously, not everyone can drop what they’re doing and go to Africa or India or Haiti and serve.
In the story of the good Samaritan only one out of three people stopped to help the man who was robbed.
Someone has said that this story reveals three basic attitudes toward human need or human suffering:
1- The attitude of the robbers: What’s yours is mine and I’m going to get it.
2- The attitude of the Priest and Levite: What’s mine is mine and I’m going to keep it. I’m not sure that was their attitude but they certainly didn’t stop to help or do anything about human suffering.
3- The attitude of the Samaritan: What’s mine is yours and I’m going to give it. Actually, the true attitude is: What’s mine belongs to God and I’m going to share it.
I believe we’ve all been blessed by God with material goods. Many of us in great abundance. And truthfully, everything belongs to God and we are merely stewards or managers of these possessions.
We are not only managers of our material possessions but also our lives, our time, our talents, our energy, etc. Everything we have is a gift of God and we should use them to minister to others.
Are we so caught up in our lives that we have no time to help anyone else? A friend? A neighbor? An elderly person? A shut-in person? A suffering person?
ILL.- E J and Faye Cunningham and Jim and Bonnie Reed were involved in a bad accident two weeks ago Saturday about 6 p.m. It totaled E J’s SUV and the car that hit them. It was bad but could have been even worse. I still believe they were saved by the grace of God. It was the grace of God that kept them from being killed or hurt worse than they were.
At the same time, there were several good Samaritans at that accident who helped them by getting them out of that upside down SUV. Several people saw the accident and immediately stopped to help. THAT’S BEING GOOD SAMARITANS.
This is something that, hopefully, all of us would be quick to do instead of going by like the Priest and the Levite who were too busy with their own lives.