To answer this question, Jesus said, "A man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Some robbers surrounded him. They tore off his clothes and beat him. Then the robbers left the man lying there on the ground. He was almost dead. It happened that a Jewish priest was going down that road. When the priest saw the man, he did not stop to help him; he walked away. Next, a Levite came near. The Levite saw the hurt man, but he went around him. He would not stop to help him either; he just walked away. Then a Samaritan man traveled down that road. He came to the place where the hurt man was lying. The Samaritan saw the man. He felt very sorry for the hurt man. The Samaritan went to him and poured olive oil and wine on his wounds. Then he covered the man's wounds with cloth. The Samaritan had a donkey. He put the hurt man on his donkey, and he took him to an inn. At the inn, the Samaritan cared for him. The next day, the Samaritan brought out two silver coins and gave them to the man that worked at the inn. The Samaritan said, 'Take care of this hurt man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again.'"
— Luke 10:30-35 NLT
Jesus wanted the expert in the Old Testament who had asked "Who is my neighbor?" to realize that the key to God's truth was not just knowing it, but also putting it into practice. We see several great religious "heroes" have their religion interfere with their practice of the will of God. So to shock and jar the truth into this Jewish religious expert, he makes the hero of the story a despised Samaritan who does just as God would want his children to do. He was the one who saw the need and acted. And that is what God wants of us: not a hollow religion of words, arguments, and nuances, but a faith that is vibrantly and compassionately lived in the real world.
O LORD, my Abba Father, please forgive me for letting my fascination with religious arguments take my heart off the truth you want me to live with character and compassion. Open my eyes to see the opportunities you give me each day to put my faith into redemptive action in my world. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- James 2:14-21
- James 4:17
- Luke 6:31
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.