The Good Samaritan: How to Love And Service Your Neighbour
The Good Samaritan – Luke 10: 30-37
Loving your neighbour as yourself is something we all want to do. It’s the second greatest commandment. And one of the most quoted verses in the Bible.
Mark 12:30-31: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
But in a world full of need, it can feel like an overwhelming call. If I’m honest, I struggle to follow Jesus’ call to love my neighbour as much as I love myself.
What if my neighbour is someone I disagree with?
What if my neighbour is different to me?
What if my neighbour is antagonistic towards me?
Thankfully God is full of grace as we learn the lesson of how to love others again and again. Thankfully He gives us His word, including the Good Samaritan story, which gives us powerful and practical lessons about how to love our neighbour. Here are some thoughts on the parable.
1. He chose to see the need
The Good Samaritan was moved by the need in front of his eyes. When he saw the stranger, he took pity on him – he didn’t just look away. This is exactly what Jesus did – He saw the need of others:
Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Luke 10:20 ‘While he was still a long way off his father saw him and had compassion on him’
Loving the Lord God with all our heart means allowing Him to touch our emotions and saturate our soul with compassion. This way, when we encounter brokenness, the love of Christ wells up in us and we respond rather than retreat.
When you encounter broken humanity, do you close your eyes out of fear or open your eyes in faith that God can use us to bring healing into someone’s life?
2. The Good Samaritan answered the cry
But it wasn’t enough to see the need and have pity, the Good Samaritan chose to answer the man’s cry and take action. The Samaritan was aware of the danger and the inconvenience of helping the robbed man, but he reached out anyway – the parable describes how “he went to him.” He got involved.
It’s one thing to have faith but The Bible tells us that, “faith without deeds is dead”. What simple and decisive action can you take to help the poor today?
3. The Good Samaritan refused to give up\
Verses 34-35 of the parable tell us that the Good Samaritan didn’t just patch up the injured man on the side of the road and move on.
Instead, he put him on his donkey and took him to an inn where he took care of him. What’s more, he was willing to pay the price by giving two day’s wages and then promising to pay for any further expenses when he came back.
So often when we seek to love people we start off with good intentions but we struggle to follow through. Instead of becoming half-hearted, we need God to do a work in our lives: when we love God with all our strength we will follow through in our commitment by doing whatever it takes.
Are you already serving people and loving your neighbour? Don’t give up, even when things get tough.
Our sixth holy habit is Service and we will be discovering more over this month. Do join us.