STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Meeting Jesus
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him. “Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
In the parable popularly known as the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus challenges his listeners to respond to the needs around them by avoiding a question: “Who is my neighbor?” but rather asking “Am I being a neighbor?”
This parable is only found in the book of Luke and just to remind you, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. However this parable is a bit different because it is in categories of parables called the Sample parables. Sample parables often teach on what morals, or attitudes to embrace as those who follow Jesus. Therefore in this passage Christ is commanding believers to live in a way that they are being neighbors to those around them.
One way of being a neighbor is by showing compassion to those who are around you. However, showing compassion to other people must be based on truth that we ourselves have received a life serving mercy therefore; as a result we show compassion to others. Showing Compassion really means telling someone else “I see you, I feel your pain and I am here”. It is possible to see someone suffering but not really see them, it is also possible to help people in need without truly understanding their pain and suffering. People who are suffering do not necessary need all of our resources and things but sometimes they just need us to say, “I am here”.
Truth has to be told that there is so much suffering around us and sometimes it can be overwhelming or even make us feel that our help is just a drop in the ocean. However the way of Jesus is not that we should do nothing or do everything but rather that we would do our part. Do your part of being a neighbor to someone else and Jesus will use your availability for his glory. In the story of the Good Samaritan we are the person who was left for dead, who had no hope but received a life serving mercy. Through Jesus Christ we have received a life serving mercy because he saw us in our distress and that we were dead in our sins. Through the cross he felt our pain, in fact he chose to feel the pain for us by allowing the wrath of God to be poured on him and he was punished for our sins so we can have life. He said, “I am here” by becoming one of us God our Emmanuel. The standard of showing compassion to others is Jesus.
Through Christ we have received a LIFE SERVING MERCY therefore we must show compassion to others.
Author: Humphreys Mkandawire