In Luke 10;29 We see that a man asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied by sharing the story of the Good Samaritan.
This Samaritan man, who was most likely going about his business for the day, looked over and saw a man, who was his enemy, laying on the side of the road. He had been robbed, beaten and left for dead.
Next, we see his response to the crisis. Luke 10;33b says, ” when he saw him, he had compassion.” This word compassion is more than sympathy, it means to be moved on the inside, the strong’s definition is “to have the bowels yearn”, so we are moved with compassion. To be sympathetic would be to feel sorry for someone, but it doesn’t necessarily mean to do anything. To be moved with compassion is to be moved by the love of God.
Matthew 14;14 “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Nine out of the twelve times that the word compassion is used in the New Testament, it is used in reference to Jesus or in a teaching that He gave. This Samaritan saw the need, and was moved with compassion, Just like Jesus. He stopped whatever he was doing and took the time to dress his enemy’s wounds, put him on his animal, took him to an inn, paid for his shelter, gave the innkeeper a charge to “take care of him”and left more money to pay for whatever was needed until he could return.
Think of us today. Sure, we might not literally run into someone who has been beaten, robbed and at the brink of death and have to render aid. However, how many people do we see while we are going about our day that we don’t stop and share the love of God with them? How many times have we had the divine opportunties to share the goodness of God and have kept on walking by? What if it was there “last day”?
I think we can learn so much from this story. As I read it one more time this morning, I realized that who I might consider to be my neighbor is not what Jesus taught at all. I ask myself and you today, “Who is our neighbor?”
Jesus teaches us here that our neighbors are those that are hurting, wounded and in need, even our enemies. How many of us would stop and take the time to help someone, much less our enemy? This Samaritan had compassion and it didn’t matter who this man was to him. Who is our neighbor today? The Lord will put them in our path, let’s be faithful, watching, willing, to help those that are in need.
Let’s remember, Jesus was that Good Samaritan in our lives. Romans 5;8 says,”But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”