Check out Luke 10:25-37
The way of discipleship is loving service, not religious duty.
What do you hear when you hear the story of the Good Samaritan? Maybe the lesson of doing good things for people in need?
True, that’s there. But the dramatic impact of the story lies in the racial and ethnic gap between the Jews and Samaritans in Jesus’ day. We’ve talked about this before. Just a couple chapters earlier, James and John want to call down fire on a Samaritan village that doesn’t welcome them.
If Jesus told this story today in Israel, we might call it the parable of the “Good Palestinian.” Or if he told it to a white church in Alabama in 1950, it might be the “Good Black Person.” But maybe with a more controversial word. It’s a story about stereotype.
What the first Christians were doing was not necessarily religion to them; it was life. It was a religion of action, 24-7, rather than a religion of passively waiting for the next life. It was a way of life that takes on the loving service of God Himself. This is what it means to begin to Live eternally right now.
I think there are four things that start to happen to us when we let this story of Jesus get under our skin:
We begin to see others through the eyes of Jesus Christ–through the eyes of our Father God. How we see life determines how we live life. In Jesus, God offers us new eyes, eternal eyes.
We begin to feel with the heart of Jesus Christ–to feel with the very heart of our Father God.
We begin to think with the mind of Jesus Christ–the think with the very mind of our Father God. Both the priest and the Levite were motivated, not by love, but by fear–one of the most debilitating forces in all of life.
We begin to act with the will of Jesus Christ–to act with the very will of our Father God.
Who do you stereotype? Athletes? Academics? Artists? Guys? Girls? Democrats? Republicans? Black? Latino? White? Asian? Gay and Lesbian? Atheist? Christian? Are you aware of the labels you put on people and reduce them to? It’s so much easier to look at someone as a label than as an Image-Bearer of the Almighty.
Every parable has a punchline. Understanding the point of each of Jesus’ parables is in the very last thing Jesus says. So what’s the punchline? “Go, and do likewise.” It’s not enough to look the part. You have to get up and do something.