523. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

“Throughout the Bible,” Stan began, “it’s recorded that Jesus asked a lot of questions.  Some were hard to answer and some were not so difficult.”

Continuing, he said, “I saw one of the easy ones this morning in Luke’s gospel.”

“What was that?” I replied.

“Are you familiar with the story of the good Samaritan?” Stan asked.

“I am,” I responded. “A fellow on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho got beat up and robbed.  A priest and a Levite saw him and passed him by without doing anything.  Then a Samaritan came by, stopped, and helped.  Jesus said it was because the man felt ‘compassion’.”

“Exactly, my friend,” Stan said.  “Jesus’ parable was in response to the question someone had asked Him about loving neighbors.  The person who asked wanted to know who Jesus thought was a ‘neighbor’.”

Continuing, he said, “To point out who Jesus thought is a neighbor, He asked at the end of the parable who had shown mercy to the injured man.  The answer to the question was easy.  It was the one who had stopped and helped.”

“The Good Samaritan,” I replied.

“Yes,” Stan said, “and what Jesus said next is key for me.  He told the one who had answered, ‘Go and do the same’; have compassion on those who need compassion.”

“To me,” Stan concluded, “this means that I am to have my eyes and ears open to be ready at a moment’s notice to stop what I am doing and have compassion on anyone, whether a next-door neighbor or a neighbor on the other side of the street, city, country, or world, anyone who needs compassion.  I am not only to have compassion, but I am to do something with it!”

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“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”  And Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”  Luke 10:36, 37.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the truth of mercy and compassion.  Because of your love, grace, mercy, and compassion I have the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time, and I thank you.  I also thank you for bringing people into my life to whom you want me to show the mercy and compassion you intend.  Those people may be ones I know, or they may be ones I have never seen before, it doesn’t matter.  You want me to be their neighbor by showing mercy and compassion.  I confess that too often I do not.  Please forgive me.  And please, Father, help me follow your lead in being the neighbor you intend to everyone you intend.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Things to think (and journal) about:

1.  What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?

2.  What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?

3.  What is God saying to you to do personally?

4.  Who can you share this with to make a difference?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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