Text: Luke 10 (Leviticus 17-18)
In this part of Luke, Jesus has the encounter where the “great commandment” comes into view – that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and we are to love our neighbor as our self. Two parts – love God, love people. When asked to clarify the second part (plenty of people are not very lovable), Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan. In the Jewish culture of the day, Samaritans were creepy “others” to be shunned and avoided. Yet, in Jesus’ tale it is the Samaritan that is kind and generous towards the poor fellow who has fallen to robbers. Jesus asks His questioner:
Which of these… 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.” (Luke 10:36-37)
This is a simple lesson for us today. “You go, and do likewise” – a commandment to us all as Christians to act with love and mercy towards outsiders. We are called and commanded to love people outside our own families, outside the church – even the people who are living lives rife with sin. This includes people who are hostile towards us and the Gospel. “Love your enemies,” Jesus said. For us to be in obedience to Jesus, for us to be walking out our calling, we need to be actively engaging and loving on unbelievers. Imagine the amazing things God can do through us when we live this out in our everyday lives!
in Him, Mike