Strange Traveling Companions
by Ann Robinson-Worley
The age old story of the Good Samaritan still holds many truths for us today. We must all guard against the possibility of becoming so self-centered we fail to see the needs in others lives.
A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He fell into the hands of bandits who stripped off his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. A Levite also came on the scene and when he saw him, he too passed by on the other side.
But then a Samaritan traveller came along to the place where the man was lying, and at the sight of him he was touched with pity. He went across to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own mule, brought him to an inn and did what he could for him. Next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the inn-keeper with the words, ‘Look after him, will you? I will pay you back whatever more you spend, when I come through here on my return.’ Which of these three seems to you to have been a neighbour to the bandits’ victim?” The man who gave him practical sympathy,” he replied. “Then you go and give the same,” returned
Jesus. Luke 10:25-37
This account points out to us the importance of Jesus saying:
Oh, my children, I am with you such a short time! You will look for me and I have to tell you as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.” John 13:35
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. Luke 6:31
Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head’. Don’t allow yourself to be overpowered with evil. Take the offensive—overpower evil by good!
Now lets look at this hopeless traveler. He certainly didn't plan on this event. Since he left Jerusalem he was probably Jewish. He was beaten nearly to death and he must have been well dressed because they stole his clothing as well. Our improbable saviour passes by and he is a Samaritan an outcast and a mixed-breed. The Jews would not have any social contact with the Samaritans. This Samaritan chose to show compassion upon him. Jesus chose to become an outcast in order to bring us our redemption. The Samaritan met the needs of this beaten man. He dressed his wounds and poured over them the oil and wine. The wine cleansed his wounds and the oil soothed them. This is how Jesus treats our wounds. He cleanses us and anoints us with joy and peace.
He put the Jew on his own donkey to transport him and he secures for him food and shelter. He did not even think of his religious or nationality differences. He provided all that the Jew had need of. This proud Jew received abundant care from his improbable saviour. Before the Samaritan left he gave the innkeeper two days pay for continual provisions and he obligated himself further for cover any other costs incurred by the innkeeper. He also passed the responsibility on to another to see to the future needs of the Jew as well.
This is like how Jesus loves us! He meets all of our present needs past, present and future and he passes his care for mankind on to those who are willing to follow Him. Each of us are to be Samaritans in our concern for others.