Be Inconvenienced

 Who is my neighbor?     Luke 10:29

The parable of the Good Samaritan is one often told in Sunday Schools and sermons to illustrate compassion and service. The focus is on the Samaritan traveler who ignored the cultural norms of his day and disrupted his journey to help the injured victim. Consider for a moment the two men who passed by the situation, and just couldn’t be inconvenienced. Which of the three are you? 

The priest and the Levite both passed by on the other side of the road and did not stop to assist the injured man. You may imagine the justifications they offered themselves for not attending to the victim. Some have suggested that they did not want to become ceremonially unclean. Perhaps they were thinking, “I don’t have time,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “I don’t want to become entangled in his problems.” As Jesus tells the story, the key to their behavior and decisions is that they did not show compassion or mercy. 

With all of the activities of the holiday season, it is important to remember to be merciful. While you may fill a Samaritan’s Purse box for a child in some underprivileged country, or you might drop money in the Salvation Army bucket, that should not be the extent of your holiday compassion. Compassion can simply be kindness, such as an extra smile to a beleaguered store clerk or calling out a thank-you to the parcel delivery person. Perhaps you can offer to pick up the forgotten grocery item for a shut-in neighbor or bake an extra batch of cookies and take them to the nearest police or fire station. Allow yourself to consider being inconvenienced this season, to extend generosity and kindness. Ask God to make you aware of the opportunities He places before you. 

Today’s Verse: Luke 10:29

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Luke 10:25-37

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 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 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.” 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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