Have you ever looked the other way when you see someone standing on the street corner holding a sign that said something like "homeless, hungry, please help" (usually misspelled)? Do you think its because you are afraid to talk to the person, or will it make you late and throw your whole day off if you even take just a few minutes to give the person a few buck to get a meal? Or maybe you are afraid you just think that the person will just take your money and head to the beer store or the back alley to buy a hit of cocaine and you don't want to waste your money on taking that kind of chance. I have to say that I have thought all of these things, but why? Its not even my money is Gods money. He is the One who lets me have money to spend in the first place. Granted he give some people lots more money than He gives me, and we can sometimes we run out of money before the month is over, but after reading the following verses, I just have to say that maybe this should be a Cheese-it year for me. I think I may go out and buy a couple of boxes of cheese-its to keep with me in the car so the next time some guy comes up to me at Wal-mart and asks me for some food I can give him a box of cheese-its and say sir I don't have much myself, but its Gods money and I will share this box with you so why don't you say a prayer and thank God for giving it to you. Its just an easy way to show Gods love. Don't you think?
This story is about showing love to you neighbor, Who is your neighbor?.... Jesus is talking to a group of people some were his disciples some were not. They are being told story's form Jesus and one of the men in the group, an expert in law, wanted to know how to inherit eternal life....
Read Luke 10:25-37. Here is how the story goes.
A man who we don't really know he was, was traveling down from Jerusalem to Jericho. The distance was 17 miles and it was down a mountain 2500 feet above sea level to 800 feet above sea level. It was rocky, desert country and provided a great place for robbers to hide and attack you. The road had become such a bad place to travel that it was nicknamed The Way of Blood.
As if that's not bad enough you have to keep in mind that the Jews and the Samaritans did not like each other at all, Jews viewed Samaritans as half breeds both physically and spiritually . They wanted nothing to do with them because they were "enemies of God" The two were openly hostile.( Samaritans were a mix of Jew and Gentile) Anyways, so he is on his way down and was robbed, stripped and beaten half to death.
Luke 10:30 In reply Jesus said "A man was going down form 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."
So the first person who comes across the man is a priest. One of the most prominent members of society. Priests were dictators between sinful Jews and God. Being a priest carried a lot of rules. Priest had to go through a pretty long process to be pure and holy enough to approach God. If a priest came into contact with an unclean or dead person they would have to become ceremonial pure again and it took a lot of time. So when the God put the man in the path of the priest the priest faced the decision of helping the man and being thrown off his schedule sense he would have to go through all the long embarrassing rituals of being made pure again, or he could pass on the other side of the road, stay clean, on schedule and accomplish all that he needed to do that day.... we all know what he chose to do...
Luke 10:31 By chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
The man that was dieing on the side of the road was passed up by the priest but now he had another chance to live. That's when the Levite came upon him. What is a Levite? God had appointed the Levite to serve in the Temple. They lead music and serve as doorkeepers and organize sacrifices. Another prominent person. They also had to be ceremonially clean like the priest. If a Levite came into contact with a dead or unclean person he too would become unclean and would not be able to serve in the Temple for a time, so he chose to pass by going on down. Did you notice that the man, priest, and Levite were all traveling down the road? This mean that they were on their way to Jericho, which means that both the priest and Levite were heading away form the Temple, they weren't even going to be serving there for a while anyway, so why did they not stop and help? Good question. They must have been lazy. They sure didn't put others first. They could of helped and still had time to become unclean by the time they went back up to Jerusalem. hmmm. Makes you think.
Luke 10:32 A Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him , passed by on the other side.
Oh but don't give up hope poor little dieing man. The Samaritan was on his way. You know, the man that was the most disrespected class of people. When the Samaritan came across the man he showed him love. He used his own wine and oil to treat the wounds that the man had and let him ride on his donkey which meant that he would have to walk the rest of the way. Then he took him to an inn, took care of the man the whole night, and left the inn keeper 2 days worth of his pay to look after the man. He told the inn keeper to let him know if he owed anything else and upon his return he would reimburse any extra money that was needed. That's putting your self last. That's loving you neighbor.
"Go and do likewise."
My prayer: Lord, please help me to see the people you put in front of me. Give me the resources I need to be able to help them and give me a heart like the one of the Samaritan. I want to serve you by serving others.