Jesus told of a Samaritan—a GOOD Samaritan to us, GOOD being an oxymoron to ancient Jews—who proved himself a neighbor in the most unexpected way Luke 10:30-37. Remember that the Parable answered the silly, quarrelsome, self-justifying question of a Pharisee, “And who is my neighbor?”
Two Jews of the ruling class—religious men yet—didn’t help the stricken traveler. Each saw him but passed by on opposite sides. They had their reasons, but Jesus ignored them. For when human need arises, others not sharing the misfortune should put responsibilities in abeyance while offering succor. A few winters ago, a lady waded into the surf at a San Diego beach. There she sat while others watched and wondered, but did nothing. Finally, some who couldn’t contain their curiosity and concern walked out to her, only to find she had frozen to death. Whether it’s duty, or previous appointments, or plain disinterest, or not wanting to interfere, we can always find reasons not to help when need arises.
However, Jesus noted that a Samaritan—understand how Jews hated the term—got involved. The Pharisees once labeled Jesus a Samaritan, thinking the term equated with demon-possession John 8:48. The “apostate” also had business appointments and responsibilities. He also knew the traveler was a member of the hated Jewish race. Yet, he took his time, spent his money, and offered follow-up care to the unfortunate.
Involvement costs: money, time, sacrifice of leisure and recreation. But what of the cost of non-involvement? Do we want more of the same self-centeredness we see so often today? Do we want more of self-obsession, where we don’t want to carry any more burdens, share any more sorrows or misfortune?
It cost Jesus to get involved with us. But he thought nothing of the price to express God’s compassion. Maybe thinking of what he paid to love us, we could more selflessly love others.
(Love is Like That; 52 Communion & 52 Offering Meditations)