10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
10:26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”
10:27 He answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.”
10:28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
10:29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
10:30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
10:32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
10:33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.
10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
10:35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’
10:36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”
10:37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
The story of the good Samaritan not only shows us what it means to be moved by Christ’s love but it also shows that it takes for us to step outside of our comfort zone and go against society to do what is right.
Seeing a man lying helpless should have stirred up pity and compassion in anyone’s heart. For a Samaritan to be passing by on that road meant great risk not only by being attacked by thieves but also because as a Samaritan he was not welcomed and was looked down upon by Jewish society.
Loving our neighbors is not a love that is based on choosing those whom we think are in our same social circle or who are on the same level as us in terms of wealth, reputation, or success.
Jesus was explaining to the rich man that we are to love others because Christ loved us first and that should stir up a desire to spread that love to all who we come in contact with and especially those who society and our friends view as social outcasts and are in need.
God’s love for us is unconditional. He does not focus on external appearances but rather looks at the heart. Our response to others is to show that same love. A genuine love for God reflects a heart that seeks to honor Him in exercising that same love towards the world and bringing lost souls to Him.
Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.
Jesus was never content on just teaching a lesson, He wanted his hearers to understand the lesson and then go practice it in their lives. Just as parents teach their kids right from wrong, they also expect that the children will do the right things and less of the wrong things as they mature. As children of God and followers of Jesus we are expected to also mature and live a life that pursues the righteous things and not sin. We are called to walk as Jesus walked and live in the Spirit, rather than the flesh.
Let us not just be listeners of Jesus but also be doers of Jesus’ work.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25)