Our Bible lesson today is found in Luke 10: 25-37. It is the story of the Good Samaritan.
The Samaritans and the Jews were not friends at all, but read to see what happened when Jesus tells this story to illustrate a point about how we should treat people.
One day, a lawyer asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life. When Jesus asked him what God’s Law said, the lawyer answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus answered, “You are right. Do this and you will live.” But the man wanted to make himself look good, so he asked Jesus another question. “Who is my neighbor?”
To answer this question, Jesus told a story about a Jewish man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They beat him, took his money, stripped him of his clothes, and left him beside the road to die.
A Jewish priest came by, and when he saw the man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and continued on his way. A little while later, a Levite who worked in the temple came along. He also saw the man lying there and passed by on the other side of the road. Neither one of them stopped to help the man.
Finally, a man from Samaria came along, and when he saw the man, he stopped to help him. He put medicine on his wounds and wrapped them with bandages. Then he took the man to an inn and took care of him there. The next day, he gave the innkeeper some money and told him to continue to care for the man. “Give him anything he needs. If it costs more than I have given you, I will pay you the next time I am here.”
Then Jesus asked, “Which of these three men was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers.”
The lawyer answered, “The one who helped him.”
“You are right,” said Jesus, “now you go and do the same.” Even though the Jews and Samaritans were not typically friendly, the Samarian man saw someone in need and helped him because he was a human being in need of a friend.
The world is full of people today who are in desperate need of a neighbor and friend. Just as the Good Samaritan in the story helped the man in need, Jesus says to you and me, “Go and do the same.” Always try to be a good friend to people you know because we never know what they may be going through. Be kind and polite to those you meet, so they will see God’s kindness through you.
Let’s pray. Dear Jesus, You have told us to love You first and also our neighbor. Help us to be a good neighbor to everyone we meet, so they will see Your love through our kindness. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.