Something is precious to you when it costs you something. God’s love cost Him His Son, Jesus. What has your salvation cost you?
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
Some of the guys and I were sitting around talking this morning and the subject of the Good Samaritan came up. To refresh your memory, here it is (for the full version, see Luke 10:25-37):
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
We came up with three distinctive characteristics for being a good Samaritan. They are:
- Inconvenient– Most times, when we see a need, we are on our way to do something. We have schedules, obligations, and appointments. Rarely are we standing around when something happens that calls for us to assist. The sacrifice of our time is the first place a person is called to give if one wants to be like Christ, as the good Samaritan was.
- Socially unacceptable– Samaritans and Jews were nationally bigoted toward each other. The Jews particularly held the Samaritans in contempt because of their mixed blood. Often we are called to step across racial lines, economic lines, gender lines, and even religious lines in order to answer the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is the second sacrifice we must be ready to make. In fact, we really need to prepare ourselves ahead of time so that we know how to respond appropriately in order not to offend. If we want to be like Christ, we will have to look beyond these differences.
- Expensive– Whatever we think it will cost, count on it being more. “In for a penny, in for a pound,” is an English phrase meaning that once we are committed to a task, we must finish it regardless of the cost. In the case of the good Samaritan, notice that he had already spent oil and wine as well as two denarii (two day’s wages) on the man. He then told the innkeeper that he would cover any extra costs that came up. Like I said, expensive. We know that our income is from the Lord and that He can have us spend it any way He choses. Let’s keep this fact in mind when we go to help and not be stingy. Remember, “Whatever a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Let’s set our hearts to be kind and generous.
When doing good costs us something, it is Christianity at its best. Christ is displayed through us. Also, sometimes we get the opportunity to share the Gospel. People are much more inclined to listen (even politely) when we are helping them. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Let’s be about the Father’s business, shall we?
Abba, You are so good to include us in Your business. Thank You for giving us opportunities to be Your hands and feet, and then Your voice to people in need. It’s worth every minute, every socially awkward moment, and every penny. What do You have for us tomorrow? We’ll be ready (this time). Amen.