If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honour, how
can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? – David Livingstone
“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 neighbour as yourself…And so, who is my neighbour?” – Jesus and a Religious Lawyer, Luke 10
In our Discovery Group yesterday, one of us retold this famous story into modern parlance. I hope you like it, we all thought it was wonderful, a little shocking even (one of us is a Bangladeshi Muslim).
An old, dishevelled man was sitting outside the local Community Centre one day, when a group of young men, slightly drunk, stopped by and began to lay into him. They left him, bloodied, bruised and a little bewildered on a seat, where he sat in the cold, shaking.
A well-known pastor walked past, and seeing him sitting, crossed the street, thinking to himself, “I have enough people to deal with in my own congregation to get entangled in that.”
Then, a young banker came out from the local Greek restaurant, flushed after a successful lunch. He saw the old man blinking at him receptively, reaching out with his eyes to the well dressed young man. But, sadly, all he met was a cold, hard stare. Why would I possibly stoop to help you, came back the silent response.
Finally, walking up from the beach came a bearded man with olive skin. He stopped at the sight of the man and crossed the road to sit by him. “What happened?” the man asked. The old man was too shaken to speak; tired, cold and hungry he just looked longingly at the man before him. The man, clearly from afar, helped the old man to his feet and putting his arm under him, walked him to the nearest hostel. Along the way, they stopped at Coles and the olive-skinned man bought him a couple of days of food.
When they reached the local hostel, the olive man explained in his broken English, that he would pay for a bed in a single room for a few nights while the old man could recover. Further, if someone could help the old man, he would pay more when he came back.
It didn’t stop there though. God’s Son turned to his religious lawyer and asked him a question; “which of these proved to be a neighbour?” Of course, said the religious lawyer, the migrant from overseas.
“Go then,” Jesus said, “and do likewise.”
Our challenge to each other, was to go and do likewise this week. After all, is that not his command to us, to live such a life everyday as he did?
What will he say to us, if we who follow him choose to disobey him, while others around us do what he asks? Is the love of God really in us?