Today’s passage records one of Jesus’ best-known parables. It’s an illustration of how to display love for God and others, and though the context is ancient Jewish culture, its lessons reach into the 21st century. The story strips away our rationalizations and excuses until we come face-to-face with our need to show compassion.
No doubt we’d all like to identify with the Good Samaritan, but in reality, we often find ourselves responding more like the priest or Levite. Why didn’t they stop to help the man in need? We aren’t told explicitly but can deduce the answer by comparing their actions with the Samaritan’s.
He saw with eyes of compassion. If we’re busy and preoccupied with our own schedules and plans, we probably won’t see the needs around us. There could be a coworker who’s discouraged, a struggling neighbor, or even a family member who needs our help.
His compassion led him to seize the opportunity to help. It wasn’t simply a matter of feeling bad for another person; the wounded man’s helpless condition moved the Samaritan to action. This is the point at which we often retreat, because stopping to help someone costs us time and effort.
He willingly shared what he had. The Samaritan went the extra mile by taking the injured man to an inn and paying the innkeeper to care for him. God has gifted each of us with abilities or resources that we can use to demonstrate compassion.
Is it possible you’ve missed seeing the needs around you? Ask the Lord to open your eyes and give you His active compassion for those who hurt.
Bible in One Year: Psalm 107-111