August 10, 2023

Bob Maas
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."
Luke 10:33-37

The parables of Jesus frequently contrast people and things. In this parable, Jesus is contrasting the difference between religious titles and benevolent compassion. The expert in the law could identify with the priest and the Levite because he came out of the same religious system. His people held the Samaritans in contempt. I have had many groups of people I formerly disregarded for various reasons but now respect their humanity because we are all created in God’s image.

As a person who was delivered from addiction to alcohol through my faith in Jesus Christ, for many years I had very little regard for Alcoholics Anonymous. Then, approximately thirty years after my deliverance from alcohol, I attended my first AA meeting in Telluride, Colorado. To my surprise, it was a delightful and rewarding experience. I was so blessed that when I returned home, I regularly attended the AA meetings in my area for two years. To this day, I recognize the tremendous value they bring to any community in which they serve.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a continual reminder that I must continually be aware of my ego’s desire to look condescendingly on groups of people with whom I may disagree. Jesus has commissioned me to be His ambassador, so it is my responsibility to love and regard everyone the way He does. Mercy always triumphs over judgment.