Sunday, August 10, 2008


“What do we see when we walk down everyday life paths, people and things to ignore because ‘they deserve it’ or chances to show mercy? What did Jesus mean when he said, “Go and do likewise?””

Jeff Johnson April 2008

Jews and Samaritans were not the best of friends during New Testament times. While the actual reasons for the hatred between the two groups is not known, it is known that the Jews believed the Samaritans were not pure from a religious viewpoint.
LUKE 10:
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other s
ide. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

This story has been told a million times. Sometimes the story brings up conjectures of prejudice, but I have a different slant. I want to look at what it took to walk by this man. Remember, this was not an age of 70 MPH freeway driving. I will not diminish the human nature of rubbernecking at whatever speed, but in this historical setting it would be at 2 ‘Mule Speed per Hour.’ Let’s look at the lesson here.

During this period in time the body was covered completely from head to ankle. Here is a man who is stripped naked—I am not sure anyone could ignore this. Maybe on some California beaches today we would ignore it, but not then. The man was beaten half to death. If you are anything like me, when I get a sore throat I am complaining to anyone who will listen—and even to those who will not listen. Being broken and bleeding one could infer a lot of pain, moaning and groaning, with sounds that could be heard at a distance. A person traveling at 2 ‘mule speed per hour,’ without an iPod, cell phone, or CD, will listen to the sounds around them for a long time before arriving at the scene. Once the scene is behind people will listen to the same sounds for a long time, only now it is associated with a face to the story. Three questions come to mind: 1) How many times could someone say to themselves without a ‘conscious’ heart weight being added, “I am not going to help this person no matter what?” 2) How much would a person’s heart weigh after walking away from this situation? 3) When would the cries for help, the moans, the look of terror or blood and dirt caked skin leave the thoughts of anyone? So, let’s rationalize this—I am not trained to help, I am not sure what I am getting myself into—Is it safe—and my all time favorite=The next person will assist. We surely could not use today’s excuse of, ‘I am in a hurry.’ So what is the point here! We all have a purpose in life; we just need to learn how to grow into helpers.

Every person lives their life on a pathway whereby we can be a Good Samaritan. ‘Helper growing’ is a skill we all have to develop and have already started developing in many areas. What if someone would have tossed the wounded man a blanket? What if someone else tossed the man a flask of wine or water or vinegar, and maybe someone else a few coins or a robe—see the point? The person with the donkey was a ‘full fledged helper,’ but the ‘helper growers’ could offer relief through their level of comfort. Jesus command of, “Go and do likewise,” is easier said than done with most of us. But, what if today we said, “Jesus, I am going to be a ‘helper grower’ and take a FORWARD STEP toward filling this command. I will do a little on my path today to help someone in need. Here are some steps to becoming a ‘helper grower:’ 1) Take a look at your heart, feel the weight of a person that you have walked away from just because…2) Think about your level of comfort in giving to this person, 3) Thank Jesus for allowing you to have the capacity to give ANYTHING to someone in need. 4) Now do it. You are now an official ‘helper grower!’ I have always wondered if the Samaritan had a ‘been there done that’ experience and that was his path of ‘helper growing?’ Maybe you are an Inn keeper, a neighbor, or maybe you are a traveler on the other side of the road—become a FORWARD STEPPER towards becoming a ‘helper grower.’ We have the pathway.

I believe in you BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH IT,


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