E100 Devotions – Day 59July 3, 2012
Reading: Luke 10:25-37
A Jewish lawyer asked Jesus a question in order to test Him and find a way to discredit Him. As Jesus does so well, He responded back with a question that He knew the lawyer felt very qualified to answer. “What does the law say?” Legalistic, self-righteous people can make the mistake of thinking that knowing what’s right, makes them right. Jesus commends him for having the “right” answer.
So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
Having to be right and justify his self righteousness, he asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan knowing how despised they were by the self righteous religious Jews. He makes a half breed Samaritan the hero in the story showing how people whom the Jews hated and despised were capable of kind and generous actions, thereby addressing their national prejudices.
Was it possible that He was referring to a known actual event that took place? Jericho was 19 miles due east from Jerusalem. The road that connected the two cities was anciently known as “the bloody way”. At that time over 12,000 Priests and Levites lived in Jericho and had to travel that road frequently to go to the Temple.
The Samaritan, moved by compassion, stopped to help the man who has been robbed, stripped and seriously wounded. While a certain Priest and Levite saw the wounded man and crossed to the other side of the street refusing to help him.
Just knowing what’s right is no replacement for showing what’s right. The Samaritan had compassion on the man, bandaged his wounds, placed him on his own animal and put him up at an Inn at his own expense. Was the lawyer the Levite? The self-righteous know; the truly righteous show.
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