This Sunday, we will read again the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37).
Jesus encounters a lawyer on the road who stood up to Him to put Him to the test: "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replies, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” The Lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replies, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But the lawyer, feeling the need to justify himself, asks, “Who is my neighbor?”
Aah, can you imagine the look on Jesus' face as he launches into the parable describing this incident on the infamously dangerous road to Jericho?
When Jesus finishes telling the story about how the priest and the Levite crossed the road to avoid helping a traveler who had been robbed and beaten half to death, but a Samaritan bound his wounds and paid for his care, He asks, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise."
I wonder what the lawyer was thinking as he returned home that night? Perhaps he went home unchanged, muttering “Go and do likewise. Who does He think he is? How can I possibly do that? Everyone knows that the Samaritans are half-breeds and not part of God’s chosen people. The priest and the Levite were just obeying the law. That doesn’t make them bad neighbors. There’s no way that I can do this.”
But, what if the lawyer went home totally convicted about his heart attitude? Maybe he got it that God is more than the law; God is love. Perhaps he began to show up at the places where Jesus was teaching to find out more. Possibly he and his family came to know that Jesus is the Son of God and their Savior.
Jesus said to him --and to all, "You go, and do likewise."
Blessings, Deacon Carole