Yesterday, Joel wrote about how the future leadership of your cell/church is in the harvest. He quoted Matthew 9:36: “He [Christ] felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help.”
Do you remember the story of Christ that involves a Jewish priest, a Levite, and a “despised Samaritan?” Most of us know this story we call “The Good Samaritan.” Of course, you know in Jesus’ day and time, you couldn’t find a Jew that would come close to believing that one could ever find a “GOOD Samaritan.” Jews despised Samaritans. They saw them as half-breeds, ethnic traitors, and bad guys. Socially, a Jewish person would not dare touch a drinking vessel of a Samaritan person. Mmmm? Check out John 5– woman at the well. I digress.
One characteristic trait that the Samaritan had (in contrast to the Jewish priest and the Levite) was pity. His pity for the Jewish man (who was attacked by bandits, stripped of his garments, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road) serves as a pathway for sacrificial action. This Samaritan rescues the Jewish man. Let’s see now. A Samaritan caring for a half dead Jewish man? Did I get that right?
The story of Christ is presented by Christ to answer the following question asked by a Jewish lawyer: “Who is my neighbor?” After telling the story, Christ asks this Jewish lawyer, “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” The Jewish lawyer couldn’t answer the question by saying, “the Samaritan.” He simply couldn’t bring himself to that despicable level of saying those words.
Therefore, Christ responds: ”Yes, now go and do the same.”
A further difference between the Jewish priest and the Levite in contrast to the Samaritan is that the Samaritan not only saw the road, but the ditches as well. He didn’t pretend that he had not seen what he saw. The goal of reaching Jericho was not more important than a deed of mercy.
Today, keep your eyes on the road… and scan the ditches as well.
by Rob Campbell