Pondering the Good Samaritan

In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells the infamous story of "The Good Samaritan". As a Jewish man lay beaten and dying on the side of the road, three different men pass along the same road and see this man in need. Each one was on a journey. They all had plans, a purpose to be walking down that path. Then they see someone in need. The first two turn their face, cross the street and walk on by "passing on the other side." The "religious" men just kept on going, continuing on with their business for the day. My boys have a great book that tells this story for children. I love how the author describes the feelings behind what is happening.

"The priest was busy praying, his eyes were both shut tight. But one eye chanced to open and saw the sorry sight. 'Oh, what a shame!' the priest observed; 'I cannot stop today, or I"ll be late for service. I must be on my way! I'm sure that someone will come soon, so I'll just let him lie.' And carefully and quietly he tiptoed right on by... The levite halted in his tracks, his eyes grew very wide. His heart was worm with pity and felt a pain inside. He stood there undecided; he knew he ought to stay, but what he really wanted was to turn and run away. 'This truly is a horrid sight,' the troubled Levite said. 'I really do believe he ought to be at home in bed. But I'm no doctor, mercy me, I might do something wrong! Besides, I feel quite sick myself - I'd better run along." (The Good Samaritan by Janice Kramer)

But the Samaritan man, who was supposed to be his enemy, took the time to care for the man who was in such desperate need. He postponed his original plan and journey, instead choosing to step into this hurting man's life. The Samaritan not only took the beaten man to a place to heal but paid 2 days wages to make sure this man was taken care of properly.

As I think about his story, I keep wondering ...."who am I in this parable?". Do I see a need and think only of accomplishing my planned journey for my own life? Am I willing to be inconvenienced and lay aside my plans? Do I think "oh how horrible", but then just continue on my way? Or do I stop, step into the hurting person's life and journey with them to a place of healing? I would like to think that I am the Samaritan, but know that in reality I am often not.....seeing and knowing of a need and doing nothing. I pray that God will expand my love for others, my willingness to put aside my own plans and the determination to follow through.

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