Week Four - Day One
A Tangible Love
Luke 10:25-37 - And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
There are many different reactions to the wounded traveler in Luke 10. The thieves used him as an object to exploit and abuse. The priest and Levite reacted to him as a problem to avoid. There also might have been some fear associated with helping the man. Whatever the case, the Israelites ignored the heart of the commands of Moses found in Deuteronomy 22:1-4 or Exodus 23:4.
In contrast to the thieves or Israelite leaders, the least expected passer-by was his savior, the Samaritan. He felt compassion and a need to assist the injured man. This desire flowed out into his life and was demonstrated by his actions. If the Samaritan had only felt compassion but continued on his journey there would be no love shown. Instead, the Samaritan stopped what he was doing, went to the man and sacrificed his own time, plans, and business in order to care for him. He got his own hands bloody and dirty as he bandaged the man’s wounds, used his own donkey to carry him, and his own money to pay for the man’s care at the inn.
This is love in action: practical and sacrificial steps taken to meet the needs of another. Grace is God’s attitude toward the law-breaker. But, mercy is God’s attitude toward someone in distress. Such is the example of the Samaritan and such is our call to love others by our actions.
• Is your love demonstrated by your actions? What specific actions can you take today to show love to your family? Co-workers? Friends, “One Life?