Luke 10:36-37 NIV84 - “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
In the story of the Good Samaritan, our Lord Jesus reminds all of us that the Mission of the Church is a Mission of Mercy. We are in the Business of Being A Good Neighbor. We GLORIFY JESUS by being MERCIFUL to others.
But, what does it mean for us to be a Good Neighbor to our Community? Is it enough to keep the lawns mowed, the buildings painted, and the trash picked up? This is our neighborhood. Many times I have been told how Dr. Patten shared with you to “bloom where you are planted” and the importance of serving here, where we are, in the Fruitvale.
Priorities are NOT what we SAY are important, but what we actually DO! A priority is what we expend TIME, ENERGY, and RESOURCES to DO. Unfortunately, most Christians define their Christianity by what they don’t do; Christ wants us to define our Christianity by what we do!
Luke 6:31 NIV - Do to others as you would have them do to you.
God does not call us to simply come and pray, to enter His House and Worship, or to sit and listen to a message. He calls us to Go and Do. To reach out in love. To meet people where they are and reach them with the Love of Christ that is expressed in the most practical of ways: A cup of cold water, the bandaging of a wound, the payment for recovery, the grace and dignity of caring.
Beloved, to do this, we must see one another differently. We must see the Lost differently. We must somehow, by the Grace and Ability of God, get past the pigmentation of our skin, the origins of our forefathers, the cynicism of our politicians…and stop allowing our humanity to be robbed from us.
A Spirit of Division and Destruction has been unleashed in our Land, and the Body of Christ must respond and minister in the Opposite Spirit. We must behave differently to each other than the world is…we must feel differently about one another than the world does…and to do this, we must begin by SEEING EACH OTHER DIFFERENTLY.
In the story the Lord shared about the Good Samaritan, the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan were all presented with the EXACT SAME SET OF FACTS, BUT only the Samaritan SAW the man with the Heart of God. Only He SAW the man correctly. Only He looked passed the cultural biases and ethnic bigotry…only HE SAW CORRECTLY. By the Grace and Power of the Holy Spirit, may we, “Go and do likewise.”
Dr. Tobey Montgomery