The parable of the Good Samaritan found in today’s reading of Luke 10:25-37 is one of my favorites. This story is so rich and has many parts you can reflect on. It begins with, an expert in the law testing Jesus, who, as always, turns the questioning trap, into a convicting crossroad for us.
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
- Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
Here is where I turned to a few different resources to get some additional light on this story I’ve read through many times. Today, the term Good Samaritan is used in many settings. But as I listened to John MacArthur discuss this scripture in Grace To You, I was left convicted and grateful for this timely reminder of how I can love limitlessly more towards others than just myself.
The first response from Jesus deals with our relationship with God, the second answer relates to our relationships with others. This love we show to God and to others should be constantly and consistently. This would be similar to how we love our neighbor.
When we love like this, Jesus quotes Leviticus 18:5 saying, if we do this we will have eternal life. Eternal life with Jesus sounds amazing, as we pray for this day. Only by His grace and our willingness to submit our broken lives to Him will we be there. So where do I start today? The story of the Good Samaritan goes deeper than kindness to others. It’s not about who your neighbor is, it is about who I am and how can I draw closer to God that will determine my love for others. I’m convicted because I’m not even close to the compassion this story shares about the Samaritan. No number of trips, monies donated, or kind gestures compare to the love this Samaritan shows as Jesus desires from us. Two men who we would have thought would have stopped to help this man passed by, the other man who was already putting himself into a dangerous situation did stop to show love for him.
Read the duration of Luke 10:33-35. Do you see how he took care of this man walking from Jerusalem to Jericho? That is love. Truly, and sadly the only person I take care of that way is myself. (convicted) To some extent, we also do this for our families or close friends. Love without limits for others. Not just my spouse, kids, physical neighbors or friends. Love limitless everyone from the store clerk to the relative you said you would never talk to again, to a stranger on the streets?
Jesus asked the man, Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? And he said, “The one who had shown mercy for him., And Jesus said to him and to us, ” Go and do likewise!”
1 John 3:11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love on another.
Lord, I ask for the strength and compassion to love others this way. Help me to put my selfish desires to the side and focus on others. Help me to increase love others in my brokenness and in my circumstances no matter what is theirs. A perfect love that we know we will all have once we are in heaven. Help me to not set limits on the love I share with others here on Earth. Knowing there is a Kingdom waiting for us all that will have no limits of a love we will share with each other. In your name, we pray, Amen.
MacArthur, John. (2003) The Good Samaritan