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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Real Love

For the next three days let’s examine the Parable of the Good Samaritan as found in Luke 10:25-29:

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

Jesus said the greatest thing you could do was love God and then love your neighbor as yourself. But, Jesus had a teacher of the Law who was trying to trick Him with a question about eternal life. Jesus got him to answer according to Scripture. We are to love God with all we have and our neighbors as ourselves. Then came the eternal question: Who is your neighbor?

The answer is everyone, but sometimes we just can’t get involved. Some of us are too busy, don’t want to get involved, or just don’t care. People in distress need us to get involved even if they could be described as “half-dead” in their current circumstances. We see them around us every day – if we are willing to look. Let’s pick up the story in Luke 10:29-37 – But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii 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.’  “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.”

The truth is half-dead people still have possibilities – they can be nursed back to health. We need to have compassion and love for our neighbors. Amen?