“He answered: “'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, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'““ Luke 10:27 (NIV) (Read the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-36)
Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan is a parable about the service that springs from love. The story is so simple that we often miss its incredible applications for our everyday lives. It is the story of three different types of people, three different responses to needs.
Those who create needs.
The robbers in this story created the needs that the Samaritan would eventually meet. How did they become such takers rather than givers? Their actions were the result of a single attitude: “My needs are more important than your needs.” Or, to say it in a word, they were selfish. Self-centeredness creates an avalanche of needs. That’s why the Lord so clearly says to us through Paul “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:4)
Those who ignore needs.
The Levite and priest just “passed by.” It was easier to pretend the need didn’t exist, although it meant that the man would probably die. Ignoring needs is so easy. This is where the majority of us struggle. Why do we ignore others needs?
Fear: We’re afraid we might get hurt
Judgment: We have judgmental attitudes.
Busyness: We’re too busy with life's details. (Ouch!)
False purity: We’re afraid of how their problems might affect us.
Those who meet needs.
The most striking thing about the Samaritan was that he made the choice to meet another person’s need. That meant personal sacrifice. His sacrifice was built upon his compassion. His compassion overcame fear and apathy. His compassion made him willing to care. His willingness to care came with a cost. It cost him the price of an inn. It cost him his time. It cost him his comfort, he walked while the man rode his donkey.
Family Discussion Question: Do you find it difficult to pay the price to love? To give up plans and time, comfort and resources?
Children’s Activity: Act out the story of the good Samaritan... it’s OK for one person to play several parts!
Listen! Gotta Serve Somebody