February 12, 2017

The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:30-35

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

—  Luke 10:33

The Samaritan who stopped to help the robbed and beaten man had every reason to look the other way and pass by on the other side. The victim was a Jew, and Jews and Samaritans did not associate with each other. Any self-respecting Jew would rather walk several extra miles than risk running into a Samaritan. And Samaritans felt the same way.

In spite of that, the Samaritan reached out to help the Jew. He bandaged his wounds, put him on his own donkey, and took him to an inn. He even offered to pay for additional expenses the innkeeper might incur. He was willing to interrupt his schedule and use his own resources to help someone in need.

Why would this man stop and help when two religious leaders refused to do anything at all? What is it that drives many people today to lend a helping hand, open their homes, reach into their wallets, or interrupt their schedules to help someone in need? The answer is that they have compassion.

In this parable, among other things, we are being called to live with the kind of compassion God has shown us in Jesus. He came to help and restore us when we were down and out, even though we were his enemies (see Romans 5:10).

Do you follow Christ’s example and show compassion to others?

Lord Jesus, keep us from judging anyone who is down and out. Help us to show others the compassion you have shown to us. We pray in your name. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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