While Traveling the Jericho Road,
Don’t Let Potholes Become Obstacles
December 11, 2019 –
Being a Christian and wanting to do good deeds is only part of the equation. The next step — the harder step—is the doing. When you come upon a pothole (an opportunity to help a neighbor), don’t think things through and then act. Analysis paralysis can enable a pothole to grow and become an obstacle.
We often find excuses disguised as common sense to overrule our commitment to serving. We put ourselves before another person’s needs. For example, in the story of the Good Samaritan, we see two men using “common sense” to avoid duty and one person casting aside common sense and acting to help a neighbor in need.
The Gospel of Luke (Luke 10:25-37, HCSB) has the parable of the Good Samaritan.
The problem / the opportunity. 30 Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead.”
The common sense reaction. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
The good neighbor’s reaction. 33 But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. 34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back, I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’
Who was the good neighbor?
36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said.
The Priest and the Levite were religious men who surveyed the situation and wanting to avoid defilement and be unclean and unable to perform their religious services in the Temple passed by quickly on the other side of the road. The Good Samaritan didn’t ask who or what the problem was. He acted. Don’t let the who is my neighbor, what is his need, or how do I help stop you from being a Good Samaritan?