But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 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. 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.’
A religious leader came to test Jesus with the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded with a passage from the Old Testament: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The religious leader followed up, “And who is my neighbor?”
The leader asked this question in order to “justify himself.” Just who is my neighbor, Jesus? Are they the person next door or across the road? Do they live down the street or the person with whom I do business? I need to know who my neighbor is before I can love them.
Jesus responded with a well-known parable we call “The Good Samaritan.” While the religious leaders in the story turned a blind eye to a man beaten, bruised, and left for dead, a Samaritan stopped to take care of the needy man. We don’t have to go looking for our neighbors. They are the ones in need of help whom God places in our paths. Who is your neighbor?
Father, help me never turn a blind eye to those in need. Help me slow down enough to help those You place right in my path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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