Next the parable tells us that the Samaritan tended to his wounds and bandaged him. For us this means that we need to address the problem by acknowledging their wounds. Quoting Scripture to them or discussing Revelation is not going to help. Remember, the Bible teaches us that the things of God are foolishness to them. We need to meet them at their place of greatest need and express what Jesus has done in our lives. Nothing convinces people like a satisfied customer! Next we see the Samaritan puts the man on his own donkey and takes him to an inn where he continues to tend to him. What does this mean to us? It means we have to follow up sometimes. Too often we try and do quick and dirty witnessing and feel that we have done our duty. Now, if it is someone we do not know, that is one thing but more often than not we can certainly follow up and continue to show this person the love of Christ. I remember the person who witnessed to me at first. She would not relent for two years! Not in a badgering way, not in a reproachful or judgmental way. Only with the love of Christ. Remember - this is the plan of Jesus:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." - John 13: 34-35 (NLT)
Lastly, the Good Samaritan paid for the innkeeper costs and promised to cover any additional expense. In other words - it cost him something. Sometimes we can think that we can say a few words, maybe give a profound Scripture and walk away feeling good about ourselves. Like we have done our Christian duty. But if it gets too close to our personal life we can back off. If it requires something from us, time or resources, we can be less than Christian in our help. What does God say about this type of faith?
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well"--but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. - James 2: 14-17 (NLT)
Christianity is about people; specifically lost people. God has chosen the church as His vehicle to deliver the Gospel to all the peoples of this world. That is the Gospel. Not our sense of superiority. Not our sense of religiosity. Jesus tells this story to an expert in religious law who was seeking to justify himself. He also tells this story to us today to remind the church of the pitfalls of being an expert in anything other than the compassion of a God with endless grace. We need to strive to stop crossing over to the other side and instead meet the people God places in our lives where they are at. No matter how wounded they are from this harsh world. No matter the blood. No matter the cost. No matter what.
Reverend Anthony Wade - October 22, 2012