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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, April 20, 2015
This expert in religious law correctly understood that the law demanded total devotion to God and love for one’s neighbor. He viewed the wounded man as a topic for discussion; the bandits, as an object to exploit; the priest, as a problem to avoid, and the Temple assistant, as an object of curiosity. Only the Samaritan treated him as a person to love.
From the illustration we learn three principles about loving our neighbor: (1) Lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right; (2) our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need; and (3) love means acting to meet the person’s need. Wherever you live, there are needy people close by. There is no good reason for refusing to help.
There was deep hatred between Jews and Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendants of Abraham, while the Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples after Israel’s exile. To this legal expert, the person least likely to act correctly would be the Samaritan. In fact, he could not bear to say Samaritan in answer to Jesus’ question. This expert’s attitude betrayed his lack of the very thing that he had earlier said the law commanded—love. (NLT)
Luke 10:25-37 – One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
“By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and to the same.”
The lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” – Luke 10:29 (NRSV)
Roger E. Brannon (Florida) titled his story “NEIGHBORS OF COMPASSION;” here is a portion of Roger’s story:
“. . . The one who showed compassion to the man injured by robbers proved to be the real neighbor – just as did those who showed compassion for the people in Boston, people they did not even know. They all showed the love that our Lord expects us to show for anyone in need. They were the true neighbors.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I can show God’s love to hurting people.
Prayer: Dear Lord, today and every day help us understand what a true neighbor is. May we see and respond to those who need your love expressed through our acts of compassion. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SURVIVORS OF VIOLENT ACTS
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
GENTLENESS, GENTLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/gentleness-gentle/
VALUES, MORALS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/values-morals/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
UNITY, UNIFY, UNITED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/unity-unify-united/
MIRACLES, MIRACLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/miracles-miracle/
RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/
SEEK, SEEKING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/seek-seeking/
NEGATIVE, NEGATIVES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/negative-negatives/
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