Don’t know about you, but I always feel “convicted” after reading the story of “the Good Samaritan” in the Bible! (Luke 10:25-37)
I’m fully aware the question that the authority on religious matters (i.e. the “lawyer”) asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” sets the table for the parable that follows. The lawyer thinks in terms of “doing righteousness” to gain “eternal life.” Jesus pushes way past that, down deep into the human heart – its motives and prejudices – the place where true righteousness begins and flows from with the parable.
I gotta tell you, I’m more like the “priest” and “Levite” in the story than I want to be! (Thankfully, that is probably a good sign!) I’m ashamed of the fact that sometimes those we tend to look down on (i.e. like Jews did the “Samaritan” in the story) often evidence the concern, the caring, and the generosity that often escapes those who claim to be Christians. We sometimes tend to escape compassionate involvement by “passing by on the other side” (either “too busy” or acting like we don’t see).
Jesus question haunts me… “Who PROVED to be neighbor to the man?” The command of Jesus to the “lawyer” just amplifies my sense of inadequacy… “Go and do likewise!”
I want the righteous I claim to have to be an “inside-out” righteousness! I want passionate love for God and “neighbor” to be the hallmark of my life! Oh Lord help me! Forgive me! Reach deep inside me and change the DNA of my heart! Just think about the impact we would have as Christians in our culture of we truly loved God with all our heart – and loved our “neighbor” as ourselves!