By Pastor John Mateos Ong
“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 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. “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. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 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. 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.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.””
The lawyer summarized the 10 commandments into 2. Then he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor? Who should I love?” This is when Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Who: Jesus and the lawyer were the only ones talking
In the parable: man, robbers, priest, Levite, Good Samaritan,
Where : road between Jerusalem and Jericho
What : man was beaten and left on the road
Several people and different reactions can be observed in this parable. The priest passed on the other side of the road in order to avoid the bruised man, pretending he was not even there. The Levite also passed on the other side of the road, ignoring the man too. While the Good Samaritan went to the man, took pity on him, bandaged his wounds, poured oil and wine, put the man on his donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him, paid the innkeeper, told him to take care of him on his behalf and told the innkeeper that he will pay for the cost when he gets back.
When Jesus asked, who do you think became the neighbor? Up to the last moment, the lawyer could not say the word Samaritan, because the Samaritan was in no position to help. The priest and the Levite were in that position, however. The Lawyer could not accept that the Samaritan was also in the position to help. Jesus wanted to show that being a good neighbor is really for everybody. What with the things happening in the world today, it is a good opportunity for us to be a good neighbor even to people we do not know or do or like. The Samaritan in this story are the outcasts. They are not Christians but they are the ones who do good. It can be anybody God sent to you. It is not limited to family and friends. Anybody can be a good neighbor to somebody.
3 things from the Parable of the Good Samaritan that can help us nowadays:
Be Practical - take the necessary precautions.
Be Prayerful - Panic or pray? This is supposed to be our first action of recourse. Now is not the time to fear. It’s the time to be spirit-filled. If you will keep o praying, you will hear from the Holy Spirit and He will guide you on the actions that you need to take.
Practice love.- It’s time to shine. We are made for a time like this. Because we have been transformed. It is now up to us. We have to show the people around that we worship the one true God because we have been changed. What do you want to spread? Do you want to spread the bad news or the good news? Are we going to spread facts or truth? The goodness of God is running after each and every one of us. Even in 50 or 100 years, the truth never changes.
Disclaimer: Sometimes, the best way to help is not to help.Pray about every decision you make. You have to discern. Maybe God has a lesson He wants somebody to learn.
Proverbs 3:27 says “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act. Help when needed.” The people you help must be worthy of it. But Jesus leveled up this command in the New Testament when He said in Luke 6:32-33: “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!”
It is time to show radical love. Not just because Jesus asked us to do it. But because He showed it to us when He died on the cross. At this moment, we are called to stand out in the way we love.