February 2 – Compassion – Available to those in need

Read Luke 10:25-37

“I’m too busy.”  “I’m too important.”  “I have a pressing appointment.”  “He is from the wrong side of town.”  “His injuries are well beyond my first aid training.”  “Surely someone else will stop.”  “Maybe he is just pretending to be hurt.”  “Looks like he is bleeding!  You can’t be too careful these days.”  “Helping him may require a financial investment I can ill afford.”

I wonder what rationale the priest and Levite used as they passed by this beaten, battered, and bruised “needy neighbor.”  After all, they were the religious people.  They were the ones you would expect to demonstrate concern.  But, they had their reasons…whatever they were.  They didn’t stop.  Even if the man’s needs were clearly beyond the time, resources, or expertise they had, they didn’t send help in their place.  They just crossed to the other side of the path and likely pretended to not notice him.

But the one who got it right was the one we wouldn’t expect.  He was a Samaritan, and the needy neighbor was a Jew.  These two had differences that went back generations…even centuries.  If you are familiar with the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s, you have a feel for the ways these two groups of people felt towards one another.  Their theological differences separated them significantly.  Those differences could have been reason enough for the Samaritan to make an even wider berth around the needy neighbor than his predecessors.  Nevertheless, the Samaritan…the one with the aberrant theological perspective felt compassion for the man.  He understood this neighbor thing.

You have probably noticed it too.  Many people without a heart for Jesus have a heart for people.  And, in some instances, they are more responsive…more available than those who claim to be Christ followers.  We should applaud that about them.  Even though all of mankind is fallen, there is still a marred, residual grasp of the image of God and concern for those who bear that image.

How much more accentuated should that be among those who know Jesus?!  How much more available should you be to the needs of those around you…starting with your family…and extending to others?!

Take note of those you may pass by today!

Steve Kern

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