In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Have you ever really gone out of your way to care for someone? Did you put their needs ahead of your own, using your time and your money? Most people are willing to help others to a point, as long as the time or cost isn’t too great, or perhaps dangerous.
The Samaritan in this story not only provided first aid, he took the injured man to a safe place and cared for him. That’s a pretty big deal! Jesus calls us all to care for others in much the same way, and sometimes it means putting ourselves out, adjusting our schedule and expending our resources. Does it mean taking crime victims to our homes and caring for them personally? Perhaps – it depends on the situation.
Jesus was teaching us to worry about our neighbors first, to use what we have been given to bless them, meeting their needs where necessary. Sometimes it’s just a small thing – a ride to work when their car is in the shop, mowing the lawn while they’re out of town. But as the scripture shows us, we need to be prepared to help in larger ways as we are able. Don’t pass by on the other side! Our neighbors need our help!
Loving Lord, we are sometimes afraid to help. We fear danger, continuing commitment, loss of resources and public opinion. Help us help our neighbors without fear, and make us strong in Your love. Amen.