Jesus’ ministry was centred on helping hurting people. And when he saw people, he was quick to discern their hurts and helplessness. What do you see when you look at people? Do you look at the outer person only (the hair, the face, the clothes, etc.) or are you quick to perceive they’ve got a problem of some sort?
Jesus is the greatest example of all when it comes to compassion and sympathy. We need to follow in his compassionate steps! Jesus told a remarkable story that we can read in Luke 10:30-32:
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
The sad thing about this story was that the priest and the Levite were religious leaders who were supposed to care—but they didn’t. They were too busy.
The Good Samaritan
Many people pass by on the other side for one reason or another. They have business, etc. They see but never see. They see everything else except what’s important. But the Bible story continues; we read in Luke 10:33-37:
But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey,… took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ’Look after him,’ he said, ’and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?
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The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’
Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
We all know the story about the Good Samaritan. The stranger, the foreigner and the one man who saw the helpless, hurting man and compassionately helped him. He even went far beyond what most of us would do. He not only gave the man his time, but also his money. And when you’re talking money, you’re saying a whole lot.