I needed clothes and you clothed me.
I was sick and you looked after me…”
Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)
You think you’ve had a bad day? Remember the poor guy in Luke 10:30-37? The one who was beaten, stripped naked and left for dead by robbers? Now that would definitely be a bummer of a day. But what happened next was perhaps even worse.
Three men came by and saw him. Two couldn’t get away fast enough. We are not told why they “passed by on the other side” but are only left to wonder what could have been more important than the needs of this badly beaten man on the ground.
But the third man? Totally different reaction. Not only did he see the terrible situation but he acted. Out of duty? Not at all . . . out of compassion. He immediately bandaged the man’s wounds, took him to be cared for by an innkeeper, and paid for it out of his own pocket.
He even went further: he told the innkeeper that when he returned, he would reimburse him for any extra expenses above what he had already given him. In other words, his compassion for this total stranger didn’t stop once the immediate need had been met. It continued on and on.
He could have said to the beaten man “I see that you have a bit of a problem here. Let me check my IPhone to see what I have scheduled and then I’ll call my secretary to try to pencil you in on my agenda next Tuesday…say 10:00? I promise to get back with you…oh, and I’ll be praying!”
But instead, he saw the need, he felt compassion, he took care of the need.
Matthew 25:35-36 is glaring in comparison to my attitude and actions when I see a need at times. And I am ashamed. A car is stopped alongside the road on my way to church. Maybe I don’t hurriedly “pass by on the other side” but I rationalize that I am a female so it might be dangerous for me to stop so I drive on.
“I was stopped beside the road today and you saw me but you looked the other way and drove on.” - Jesus
The person ahead of me in the checkout line is digging unsuccessfully for the money she needs for her purchases. Do I step up, without judging, and help? Or do I switch all my items to another line and go on?
“My bank account was low because of the medical bills for my children and you ignored my need and walked away.” - Jesus
The thing is, I truly want to be like that Good Samaritan because I long to be like Jesus. That will never happen until I see others as He sees them: with compassion, mercy and love and until I understand that when I take care of people around me, I am honoring Jesus.
So from this moment on, I will do my best to look around me with compassion, mercy and love as I take care of every need that I can.
I repeat: I want to be like the Good Samaritan because I long to be like Jesus. What about you?
Lord, I want to be like you. I want more than anything to have your heart of compassion. Please show me what is keeping me from looking through your eyes at those around me and taking care of their needs as you did. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Have you ever seen a need that required immediate attention?
Did you stop and meet that need? Why or why not?
When you see someone with a sign that indicates they need food or money, immediately ask the Lord for wisdom to direct what action you should take to help.
Volunteer to work regularly in a shelter for those less fortunate.
Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV) “…I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. . .”
Luke 10:36-37 (NIV) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Colossians 3:12 (NIV) “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
I Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Luke 6:46 (NIV) “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)