But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you. Luke 10:33-35
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
If the half dead man along the side of the road had been a Samaritan, the priest and Levite who passed him by would likely have been glad that he had been robbed, beaten, and left for dead. Jews and Samaritans typically hated each other and had no dealings with each other. The priest and Levite passing by anyone in this man’s condition is despicable let alone a fellow Jewish countryman. The contrast of the traveling Samaritan stopping to help his hated enemy, a Jew, makes his actions quite remarkable. What is Jesus trying to do with this contrast in the story he tells in response to the lawyer who is testing him? Jesus is contrasting himself and the religious system of the day. Jesus is seeking to help everyone see that who he is and what he has to offer will bring a way of living and relating that is like the Samaritan and not like those who adhere to the religious system of the day.
Notice Jesus’ words in the Luke 6 passage above: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Jesus offers those who follow him instead of the religious system of the day, the opportunity to enter into this kind of way of living and relating. To all who choose to follow Jesus, this way of living and relating will come to them after they receive the gift of redemption he provides on the cross and he comes to reside in them through the indwelling Holy Spirit. With Jesus residing within us, he will produce in us His own life and righteousness and it will be a way of living and relating that always compels us to stop and attend to those hurting people he wants to help through us.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I want to be compassionate like you are compassionate and I want to be merciful like you are merciful. Forgive me for my lack of compassion and mercy. I know I need you to deliver me from wrong ways of living and relating and I know I need you to produce in me and through me the right ways of living and relating. Draw me close, Lord, so that through the intimacy of your transforming presence I am changed to lovingly live my life in the service of others. Amen!
Posted on Thu, January 31, 2019
by Ken Hart