The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10:25-28pp — Mt 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-31
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘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.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
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. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 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.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
We are justified by the blood of Jesus, that’s it. There is no righteousness in and of ourselves…I looked on the Good Samaritan story with a new set of eyes this morning. How often have I been an expert on the law, but missed the point of the law. The other two men had decent reasons not to stop. One in fact was following the law of his people. But Jesus notes a few things:
1 you have to have eyes to see
2 Because he was able to see the distress, he took pity on him – empathy
3 He treated the wounded
4 He went above just treating him, took care of him overnight
5 He gave him money
6 He found someone to look after him
The part I have missed is step one, how often have I not even had the eyes to see and show empathy. Jesus says in Luke 16:13-15:
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
So I asked myself if I can’t see, and show empathy, why? I came to the conclusion I was not serving the right master…What master am I serving that I don’t even have eyes to see? I will miss bringing the kingdom of Heaven to earth, if I don’t have eyes to see. So I always have heard this story preached in telling the body to have empathy.
Empathy is defined by Webster as “the feeling that you understand and share in another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share in someone else’s feelings.”
I know today instead of praying for empathy first, I need to pray to Have eyes to see.
At the end of time I can justify myself all I want, I can say I lived by the Shema…However, how can I love my neighbor if I can’t see them. There is countless scripture that reference Jesus knowing the intentions of our heart. The intentions of my heart are wicked when I see through my human lens tinted with sin. When I ask for the lens of the Holy Spirit, then I am able to start to see who I should take pity on. So this morning
Jesus give me your eyes to see,
ears to hear you still voice,
and your heart to give mercy, empathy, and compassion.
Lord, remind me that you do not look at the things people look at
My appearance or how things appear mean nothing
You look at my heart
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.
🙏Truly Jesus no eye can see, no ear can see the wonders of your love Jesus
I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”