Mid-week #2 the Fifth Commandment
Merciful Lord, Your Son became our Good Samaritan and came to our aid when we were in need of Your mercy. Teach us to be ambassadors of Your goodness to our neighbors and those who need our mercy, that we might love them as You have loved us in Your Son. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer
An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” he asks. The answer Jesus gives him puts him in a rather awkward spot. “Wanting to justify himself”, he asks yet another question, “And who is my neighbor?” Upon hearing the parable of the Good Samaritan this expert answers his own question. Who is your neighbor – well, it’s, “The one who had mercy.” Mercy. We’re good at talking about it. But here, standing before us, is mercy! With clothes on! The one who has mercy is…
1. Not like the robbers who beat the man leaving him half-dead.
To rob and beat a man obviously does not show compassion. It demonstrates brutality. The same brutality that’s been known to man from the dawn of time. Cain killed his brother Able. David had Uriah executed in battle. The officials and nobles of the people stoned Stephen to death. Because they could not bear and could not handle hearing the truth. Do such things happen in our world today?
How do we reach and react with words? We can kill a person’s reputation with our speech! All you would need to do is start a half-truth. If told enough times - within a week - it would be spread all over the city - and in many sections of town - it would be believed! And no matter what the innocent tries to do. To regain his good name. He cannot. People will believe what they want to hear. Sometimes. Being the victim. With a soiled reputation. Due to rumor. Or suggestion. Or suspicion. Is worse than death!
Transition: The one who shows mercy is NOT the one who kills. Nor is it the the one who refuses to get involved.
2. Not like the Priest or Levite - who consider him DOA.
The Priest and Levite had their own religious path set out before them. To stop and help this helpless soul would take time out of his already busy day. He had his course already set out. His day was already planned. To stop and help would be an inconvenience. He had a schedule to be kept. After all, he was on his way to the Temple.
Can we become like this Levite or Priest? Avoiding opportunities for service. All the while, making every effort to appear pious and sincere? Are we content to live in our own “comfort zone”? To show mercy often means we have to extend time and energy when we don’t want to. Often it means we will have to take time out of our busy schedules and our hurried live.
At times, our involvement means we will be taking the time to help when we know we are walking down a one-way street.
There will not be an opportunity for that other person to repay. – They can’t. Or they won’t be able to. Some only help if they know the other will someday repay the favor. These two refused to show mercy. Because the timing wasn’t right. We show mercy. Because Jesus bids us to show mercy – period!
Transition: The Priest and Levite refused to offer mercy. It didn’t fit into their narrow definition of mercy. Jesus defines mercy. He offers it!
3. Like the Samaritan who bound his wounds and carried for him.
He bound up the man’s wounds. Jesus continues to bind up the wounds of many. He began His ministry showing mercy. Remember His first sermon – The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it. He found the place where it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
He rolled up the scroll. Gave it back to the attendant. And sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!” (Luke 4:16-22)
Jesus showed compassion. By bearing your sins in His own body on the tree of the cross. All of your sins. All of your imperfections. All of your troubles. Scandals. And abominations. He took to Himself. He has shown compassion. By suffering dying and rising again for your sin. He drops them into the sea of forgetfulness in His tomb. And He remembers your sins no more!
Jesus went beyond the call of duty. He didn’t have to do any of this. Yet His love for His Father. And His love for you. Compelled Him. To go to the cross. He goes beyond the call of duty. He sustains and directs your life. Every single moment of your life. He is not obligated to help you as we see sometimes define it.
His assistance in your life. Is not some sort of duty. In which He is obliged to do something. It’s not as if it’s a favor we’re asking Him to perform. Because we demand it. He acts for you - Purely out of Fatherly love, goodness, and mercy. Without any worthiness in you. It’s not because of your superficial awesomeness. It is however your duty. To thank. And praise. To serve. And obey Him. This is His attitude toward you.
Jesus put faith into action. The work of the Good Samaritan. Is a deeper story of Jesus and His great love for you. He has had mercy on you. He sought you out. When all others lost interest. Or gave up. He won’t desert you. He’ll never abandon you. He can never, ever, leave or forsake you.
Jesus never, ever, gives up on His own! He has paid your debt. He promises to repay even more. How great is His compassion.
“Who is my neighbor?” It is the one the Savior places in your life. To show mercy. Empathy. Compassion. As Jesus so has shown His great love for you – show forth in your own lives His love, care and consideration.
Passive Sentences –2%
Reading Ease –83%
Reading Level –3.5
Google image the Good Samaritan by Aime Morot La Bon