The other Sunday I was able to give a message on unleashing the superhero inside you, and the main text was from Luke 10:30-37, the parable of the Good Samaritan. I mentioned that each person in the room would identify with one character in the story, perhaps a couple of characters at different points in life. We are to be good stewards of the life that we have been given, so what are these four attitudes that we can have?
The certain man – “What’s mine is mine if I can keep it.”
The corrupt men – “What’s yours is mine if I can take it.”
The clergy men – “What’s your is yours and you can keep it.”
The committed man – “What’s mine is yours if your have it.”
Rather than go into the details of these four, I believe that the parable of the Good Samaritan is a great model for living as a Christian, so let’s take a look at him for a moment. It’s a familiar story. Jesus tells this story in response to the question “who is my neighbor?” Here’s the summary of the story. A man is robbed and left by the side of the road. Two people pass him by without helping. Finally the Good Samaritan walks by and is the example to follow in Jesus’ story.
What if Christians followed this model for being a neighbor to the world around them? What do we need to make such a positive impact on our community?
Alert eyes (Luke 10:33) – As this man traveled, he saw him. This certain man is going about his daily routine, not on a mission trip or a service project or a church event. His eyes are scanning his surroundings looking for where God is at work and desires to join God in what He is doing. The Samaritan doesn’t have his iPod on tuning out the world and thinking only of himself.
Compassionate heart (Luke 10:33) – After he saw the man in need, he felt compassion for him. His heart was filled with concern, empathy, and kindness. He was selfless. God was at work before this moment of crisis to prepare the Samaritan’s heart to not be cold and distant, but to be warm and open.
Quick feet (Luke 10:34) – The Samaritan went to him; his feet took him closer to where there was a need. He didn’t just care from a distance, or send money to help the injured man; he was willing to get close, to take a risk, to interrupt his busy schedule, to go out of his way. He didn’t just say, “I’ll pray for you brother.” His encounter was an up close and personal.
Active hands (Luke 10:34) – Wounds were bandaged, the injured was brought along with him, and the Samaritan cared for hi. This Samaritan guy was willing to get his hands dirty as he bandaged the wounded man. Can you imagine tending to the wounds of a stranger?
Focused on others (Luke 10:34) – He put the injured man on his own beast, giving up his contented seat for the sake of the man in need. The Samaritan left his comfort zone. Paul tells us to consider the needs of others more than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4).
Giving time (Luke 10:35) – The Bible says “The next day…” This was not simply a brief encounter at one point in time; the Samaritan followed up to make sure the injured man was cared for. He would even follow up on the return trip.
Generosity (Luke 10:35) – To top it all off, he was generous with his money by paying for the man to stay at the inn, and even for the innkeeper to take care of the injured man.
That’s Jesus’ definition of a neighbor. What if Christians lived each day with alert eyes, compassionate hearts, quick feet, active hands, focusing on others, giving time with a generous attitude?