The Good Samaritan is a story about violence, crime, racial discrimination, hatred, neglect & apathy. You can read the story in Luke 10:25-37.

It is a story of a traveling man who was mugged and left for dead.  Two religious people offered no help.  But one man, the Good Samaritan, stopped and did what he could to help him. We know what the parable says, but what does it mean?  It means that we cannot separate our relationship with God from our relationship with your others. I want to consider some attitudes that come across in the parable.

1. The Thieves: What’s yours is mine (He was a thing to exploit)

The thieves did not see a fellow human being but someone they could exploit. It didn’t matter if they hurt him, so long as they got what they wanted.  God gave us things to use and people to love. If we start loving things, we will start using people, and this leads to exploitation.

Jesus never exploits a person. He always gives back more than He asks. He always leaves a person in better shape than when He found him. If He wounds, He always heals.

We must beware of looking at someone and asking ourselves, ‘What can I get out of him?”

2. Priest & Levite: What’s mine is mine (He was a problem to avoid)

The two religious leaders saw the problem, but passed by on the other side.  They decided not to get involved in the situation.  Many do the same today.  Read to this story:

At approximately 3:20am, March 13, 1964, 28 yr old Kitty Genovese was returning to her home in a nice middle-class area of Queens, NY. She parked her car in a nearby parking lot, turned-off the lights and started the walk to her second floor apartment 35 yards away. She got as far as a streetlight when a man grabbed her. She screamed. Lights went on in the 10-floor apartment building nearby. She yelled, “He stabbed me! Please help me!” Windows opened in the apartment building and a man’s voice shouted, “Let that girl alone.” The attacker looked up, shrugged and walked-off down the street. Kitty struggled to get to her feet. Lights went back off in the apartments. The attacker came back and stabbed her again. She again cried out, “I’m dying! I’m dying!” Again the lights came on and windows opened. The assailant again left, got in his car and drove away. Kitty staggered to her feet as a city bus drove by. It was 3:35 a.m. The attacker returned and found her in a doorway at the foot of the stairs. He stabbed her a third time. It was 3:50 when the police received the first call. They responded quickly and within two minutes were at the scene. Kitty was already dead…. ”

The religious leaders in this parable may have had plenty of excuses for not getting involved: I’ve been serving at the Temple & I’ve done my part. I’ve been away from home and need to hurry. It’s not my fault.  Let somebody else do it.  There’s always an excuse for not doing good.

Yet, failure to do a good thing is as sinful as actually doing a bad thing (James 4:17). If you can do good, do it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The first question the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But … the Good Samaritan reversed the question: If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”

If you want to change a garden into a wilderness … DO NOTHING … and the weeds will take over. If you want your children to grow into druggies, criminals & prostitutes … DO NOTHING … about training them up in the things of God … discipline … spending time with them. If you want to change your joy into misery … DO NOTHING … about prayer, Church, worship. If you want to kill your marriage … DO NOTHING … and take him/her for granted.

It’s easy to look at a bad situation and be critical of someone trying to help.  A woman once approached the great evangelist D. L. Moody to air a grievance. (Moody was an international evangelist of great renown in the 19th Century.) The woman said to him, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!” “Well, ma’am, I’m not satisfied with the way I do evangelism either. Let me ask you, how do you do it?” Moody asked. She replied, “I don’t!” Moody responded, “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”

Let us be a solver of the problems of our world rather than a complainer.  Instead of cursing the darkness, let us shine the light of Jesus.

Read a similar post: The Good Samaritan Attitude