Summary: Jesus doesn’t want us to walk on the other side of the road when we’re confronted with the lame and lepers in our world.
How does Jesus expect us to live in the world?
How does Jesus see the world?
Recently I made a challenge to myself to focus on the “Red Letter” words of the Bible and live them out as best I could.
To focus on how Jesus lived his earthly life. When he walked the streets of Jerusalem, Capernaum, and Samaria – what did he do? What moved him? How would he see the needs of the poor today?
There’s one virtue that stands out among the others: it’s compassion.
• Compassion for the sick, the lame, the blind
• Compassion for the oppressed
• Compassion for the untouchables, prostitutes and lepers
The Good Samaritan – the way to live
How do I live? Love God, love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the key. Tie into Jesus.
Who is my neighbor? It’s the same question for us. (v. 25-34)
• The man was half dead and naked. Not a pretty site. Could be you, me, someone we care for, a complete stranger.
• But he had worth, value and dignity because the image he was created in. He deserved to be loved and cared for. He deserved a chance to live. (Jer. 29:11-13)
• The Church passed over on the other side.
• The most unlikely of candidates shows God’s love.
• Jesus wants us to see from the eyes of the victim. He’s the one who received a neighbor that day.
The Key: Have mercy on people and go and do likewise.
A leper came to Him (Jesus), begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.” Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy.
- Mark 1:40-41 (MSG)
• Jesus didn’t walk on the other side of the road.
He doesn’t want us to walk on the other side of the road to the leper issues we face today.
Swaziland. The highest rate of HIV infection in the world. Extinct by the year 2050.
• $1.40 will feed a child for a month.
• 143 million orphans
• Over 6500 people die in Africa everyday due to AIDS. Another 9,000 are infected.
• 3 million will die this year from Malaria.
I saw the world through a different pair of lenses.
"The dying, the crippled, the mentally ill, the unwanted, the unloved -- they are Jesus in disguise. ... [through the] poor people I have an opportunity to be 24 hours a day with Jesus. Every AIDS victim is Jesus in a pitiful disguise; Jesus is in everyone.. ... [AIDS sufferers are] children of God [who] have been created for greater things." (Time – Mother Theresa)
LIVING RED LETTERS – is about having mercy. It’s about changing the world and restoring God’s creation to its original intent.
How to we change the world? We get to go BE Jesus. We incarnate Him. His hands, his love. We see a wrong, we make it right. We see oppression, we relieve it. We see the hungry, we feed them. One life at a time. Simple.
We are the Good Samaritan.
My challenge to you today: Be Jesus…the world is desperate to see Him.
Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.