We often think of Jesus’s Parable Of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) as a story about what it means to be a neighbor.
But in it’s complete context, Jesus teaches that being a neighbor is about loving and He uses the Parable of The Good Samaritan to give us an example of what love practically looks like.
The Samaritan did not give the man on the side of the road 5 dollars, he didn’t take him a plate of food and then left, he had compassion (Luke 10:33 σπλαγχνίζομαι – moved to a place centered in love), he loved the man as himself, and attended to the man, made provision for the man at his own expense until the man was well (Luke 10:34-35).
He entered into a relationship with this man, and continued in it as his keeper (Genesis 4:9).
I often see the need and say, “But, Lord, there are so many, the need is so great. I can’t possibly meet the need of so many.”
The problem is not the scale of the need (Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:37, Luke 9:13), but the distance of my heart from a place of love, therefore my lacking compassion, and my using the scale of the problem as an excuse to pass them by and leave them where they are (Luke 10:31-32).
My problem is I want to get back to my life –to my treasure, where my heart is also (Luke 12:34, 1 John 3:17).
But, there is no other life (John 14:6, Luke 12:15).
Life is receiving the love of Father through His Son and in like manner loving God back through loving the family of God and seeking to grow it by loving my neighbor (1 John 3:14-16).
The life I want to get back to; being successful in business, buying nice things, enjoying myself and being approved by men, is all a deception (1 John 2:16), and it is hindering me from living the true life, enjoying the true riches and being approved by God.
This isn’t just about the materially homeless and downcast. It is also about the spiritually homeless and downcast that I encounter every day at home, at work, in the course of daily activity.
They need care that Jesus has given us the capacity to give.
I repent Lord. Help me to comprehend the width, depth and height of Your love so that I may love as You love (Ephesians 3:14-19).
Love until those Christ died for and now live for are well.