Today we will be reading from Luke 10:25-37:
25 An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 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.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29 But wanting to vindicate himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and took off, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came upon him, and when he saw him he was moved with compassion. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, treating them with 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, and when I come back I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Today we are looking at one of the most well-known passages in all the Bible, the parable of the Good Samaritan. Obviously, there are a lot of different ways and viewpoints we could look at this passage. We could look at it from the priest or the Levite. We could look at it from the Samaritan. We could look at it in several ways.
But what I want to do is look at what Jesus tells the one who sought to test Him today. He is trying to “trick Jesus.” Which, on its face, is not a good idea. So Jesus tells a story about showing mercy and who our neighbor is. But I really like what He says at the end.
“Go and do likewise.” That’s the key. It’s fine and good to empathize with the injured man. It’s great to wonder why the others did not help and to celebrate the Samaritan and his faithfulness. All of that is great. But let us not miss the point.
Go and do likewise. That really is the point that we can, and must, take a way from this. Go and do likewise. There are neighbors to be loved, mercy to be shown, and goodness to spread. It’s up to us to do it, to work at it. To do likewise.
As CS Lewis said in Mere Christianity, “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
Go and do likewise. Love your neighbor today. That is our call.
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