30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”–Luke 10:30-37
The most difficult part of having a nonstop, thought producing brain is reading what people say in all forms of communication. I promise you that I don’t go looking for material when it comes to writing outside of sermons, lectures, and book projects. It seems to me that nonsense comes to my doorstep.
I am like any reasonable human being. I enjoy absolute silliness. I like to laugh. Crying is a necessary release. What I don’t like is people using platforms to spout off their brand of truth knowing full well it is a bunch of foolishness. Furthermore, it is an insult to the intelligence and decency of people to bombard our minds with the most trivial forms of ignorance.
The one common thread that I see in many posts and interactions is the invoking of the presence and person of God in every discussion. Politics, religious practices, personal theologies, eating habits, everything–God is being subject to false claims of advocating for every single perspective. Don’t you know that it is wrong to make a claim on behalf of an unwilling party?
At the core of everything that I am seeing, one telling truth continues to come to the surface. People have left their humanity at the door. I am constantly struck by how easy it is for people to completely forget that we are human beings. We are individuals that are constantly challenged to address our emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. We are beings that are supposed to have the capacity to deal with issues in a civilized manner.
Beyond that, I am finding more people who claim discipleship of Jesus Christ losing their grip on the principles and foundation of what Christ taught. Imagine reading or listening to people who walk with Jesus constantly berate the humanity of any person based solely on the labels they carry. That doesn’t make sense. Consider that the same people are attempting to hold people in the midst of shame that was never generated by the message of Christ. Imagine your skin being weaponized, your sexuality assulted, your reproductive rights judged, authority chosen over your innocence in the name of a perpetuating an idea that has no rooting in the love of God.
Sadly, you don’t have to imagine it….
Jesus was asked once about the issue of a neighbor. Imagine that. We need a definition for a neighbor. This gentleman got the answer about how to gain eternal life, but still wanted to make sure that his living on earth was tight. So Jesus did Jesus things. He used a story.
The story of the Good Samaritan addresses the response of the individual from a group of people historically maligned by others (i.e. nobody walked through the land of half-breed Jews because they did not see them as Jews; sound familiar) taking care of a hurting broken person passed over by religious elite (priest and levite). The emphasis is that whoever is in need, condition that can be aided, or in physical proximity is your neighbor.
What the Samaritan did and what Jesus commands us to do is act according to what is right and not our own preference. Right. Preference. If I had $20 million in the bank, I would prefer to travel without any cares. Yet, I have bills to pay. The right thing is paying my bills. I have differing views on how that government is run, so I may not want to be in the room with others who don’t think like me. But if I want to make change, I need to find common ground and work to make a better day.
Doing the right thing seems so overrated. People are willing to engage in the suffering of others to obtain what benefits their personal existence. People are ready to substitute serving God truly for temporary benefit. All of this rejection and self-serving attitude reigns due to the desensitized nature of the current climate. I can’t continue to live or function in a world that will constantly dismiss one another.
More than ever, we need people who will produce the energy and resources necessary to be the physical hands and feet of Christ. We have seen and witnessed enough people with the energy to pass over and around people. That take no type of work. How many of us will take the time to help someone with no restrictions, label, or issues as the deterient? How many of us will make up are mind to live and love like Jesus and address people at their root humanity?
Which of you, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the person who fell among the troubled climate? Will you say, I am the one showed mercy? If so, continue.