Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
One day an expert on Moses’ laws came to test Jesus’ orthodoxy by asking him this question: “Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?”
Jesus replied, “What does Moses’ law say about it?”
“It says,” he replied, “that you must 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 you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you shall live!”
The man wanted to justify his lack of love for some kinds of people, so he asked, “Which neighbors?”
Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road.
“By chance a Jewish priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Jewish Temple-assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on.
“But a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night. The next day he handed the innkeeper two twenty-dollar bills and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the bandits’ victim?”
The man replied, “The one who showed him some pity.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Luke 10: 25-37 (TLB)
We could stop there for today—just leave today at the lesson Jesus taught above in the familiar story of the Good Samaritan. We could stop there as the lesson for each of us on how we should use the platforms of influence and opportunity we have.
But I heard another story the other day I also wanted to share with you this morning. A story of a man who I don’t know whether he read Jesus’ lesson in Luke 10 or not, but lived it out to the very end. (more…)