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Exhibiting Goodness

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.  Luke 10:33

How do we exhibit goodness in daily life?  Check out the character of the good Samaritan.

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.  And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’  Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”  Luke 10:30-37 (NASB)

How did he merit the title “good”?  What was different about him?  What did he do that the others didn’t?

We have the thugs in the story.  There was nothing good about them.  They were the ones who stripped the man… wounded him… departed from him leaving him half-dead.  We have the passing priest and Levite.  They passed by on the other side.  They were both too busy in religious service.  They lived a lifestyle of avoidance and kept everyone at arm’s length. Theirs was an apathetic attitude of non-involvement.  How many times do we pass by someone?  Then there was the Samaritan.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.  Luke 10:33 (KJV)

He saw the man… he stopped… he showed compassion… he smoothed his wounds… he sacrificed… he spared no expense…

He didn’t know how long the injured man would be laid up, but because the text said the attack left him “half dead”, it could be a prolonged stay.  It didn’t matter.  He took personal responsibility for this victim in need.  This was the man described as good.  He was willing to cross social barriers.  He was willing to give up personal comfort and be inconvenienced.  Jesus’ instruction to us is simple, yet profound:

“God and do likewise.”  Luke 10:37 (NKJV)

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