Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

Be a Good Samaritan

hands as globeThe term “Good Samaritan” has taken a colloquial meaning of “be a good neighbor” – help others when you get the chance.  It is a Bible illustration of what is called the “greatest commandment” from the Old Testament:  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  (Luke 10:27 KJV)

Jesus continues the teaching with a story of a man beaten and robbed and left on the roadside half dead.  A priest and a Levite pass by without helping the needy man.  Then a Samaritan passes by and actually helps the man.  Luke 10:34 gives the details:  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  Certainly, if we are to fulfill the commandment of “loving our neighbors as ourselves” we have to do what we can to actually help others who cannot help themselves.  Please notice that the Samaritan does not go out looking for all the hurting people of the world.  He simply helps the one that happened to be in his path.

But the story doesn’t end there.  There is more that this Good Samaritan does.  Luke 10:35 says, And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”  So the Samaritan is a pragmatist!  He knows that he cannot personally fulfill every need that this hurting man has.  But he is also GOOD.  When he comes to the point where he can no longer personally help, he PAYS someone else who can help!  He supports the mission financially.

In the context of what God expects of us, today, as followers of Jesus Christ, I think it is fair to conclude that we should be “Good Samaritans” to our neighbors (the rest of the world).  We do what we can to help the hurting around us, and when we can’t personally help, we can finance others who can personally help.  This is the exact application of our sacrificial giving to support world missions.  As good neighbors to a world that has been beaten and robbed of all their spiritual connection to God, we can help by serving right here at home and giving to those that are far away.

Will you prayerfully consider being a Good Samaritan?  Will you serve those that God puts in your path today?  And will you help finance others who can help in regions beyond you?

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