Back in 2010 the news media aired video footage of the homeless man that helped a woman that was being mugged. He was stabbed and then left for dead on the sidewalk. For an hour he laid there with no help. People just passed by him, stared and one person even took a picture of the dying, bleeding man, with his cell phone. When I saw this it disgusted me. But it also stirred something else in my heart and mind. Are we training our teens to be the Samaritan or to be like the priest and Levite? Have teens become so desensitized they pass by those who are dying spiritually and in need of Jesus?
In reply Jesus said:
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ –Luke 10:30-35
We may not actually experience firsthand someone bleeding to death on a sidewalk or a trail while hiking. However, everyday we pass by people who have been beaten and left for dead along the side of the trail of life. Our neighbors, friends, family, and complete strangers who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus are being beaten and left for dead by sin and they need a Samaritan to come along, take a risk, love on them, lead them to the cross and allow THE innkeeper to care for them.
The Samaritan in Luke 10 took a huge risk helping a complete stranger. He also gave up his donkey, time out of his busy schedule, and money. What about us? Have we become like the priest and Levite? Have we become more concerned about the risk (fear)? Or maybe our schedules are so full we just can’t stop and make the time for someone else (selfishness)? Or are we keeping a tight wrap on our money and resources and making excuses for not giving to anyone in need (greed)?
Let me define neighbor. Our neighbor is ANYONE in need of Jesus; regardless of race, creed, and social background. So how are we treating our neighbors? Are we like the law expert that questioned Jesus and treat our neighbors like a topic of discussion (the latest talk/ gossip of the day)? Are we like the robber and treat our neighbors like someone to exploit (the media is good at doing that)? Are we like the priest and Levite and treat our neighbors like they are a problem to avoid or an object of curiosity (our schedules are too full with Christianese things to do, legalism and selfishness)? Or, are we the Samaritan, treating our neighbors as someone to love?
Jesus gave up everything for us, he gave up his life. In John 15:13 Jesus says that there is no greater love than a friend giving his life for a friend. What about giving your life for a complete stranger, to someone lying on the road of life dying spiritually?