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Friday, June 6, 2008

What the Good Samaritan Could Have Done But Didn't Do

By Dean Mapa

(Note: If you don't know the story of the Good Samaritan, read it first: Luke 10:30-35)

1. He didn't make excuses not to help the man.

What kind of excuses could he have given? I'm too busy. I'm in a hurry. I have to feed my children. I'm late for church service. What excuses could the priest and Levite be thinking of as they passed the badly-beaten man? How many times have we done the same when someone badly needed our helping hand?

2. He didn't withhold anything to help the man.

The story tells us that the Samaritan bandaged the man. Perhaps he tore off parts of his clothing to do that. He also placed the man on his horse, opting to walk instead. Then he even gave the innkeeper money and promised to give more if needed. To help the man, the Samaritan was willing to give of himself and what he had. It's a picture of love in action. In contrast, the actions of the priest and Levite are pictures of denial. Love heals; apathy adds insult to injury.

3. He didn't say a word.

He didn't condemn the man. He didn't blame him for falling into a bad situation. He didn't try to speak words of encouragement (would it have helped?). He just went and helped the man and even took him to a place of safety. The only time he spoke was when he promised the innkeeper to return and pay any extra expense. The Samaritan didn't walk the talk. He moved and it said mountains about what love really means.

4. He didn't stop with a one-time help.

He promised he would return and pay the innkeeper back for extra expenses incurred. A lesser person would have stopped with taking the man to the inn and say that he'd done enough. Perhaps so. Yet, love is doing more than enough.

That's what Jesus did: more than enough; much more, in fact. And that is what is expected of Christians, to go beyond the ordinary. Jesus promised that to his followers, that they would do greater things (John 14:12)!

Christian, what are you prepared to do?

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