3/23/2020 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Passage: Luke 10: 29-37
Written By: Hannah Kaar – Undergrad
When I was in the 7th grade, there was a new girl who sat at my lunch table that I noticed was not eating lunch on her first day. I asked her why, to which she explained that she was from a low-income household and had to wait until her free lunch status and paperwork was transferred to our school. To ensure she did not embarrass herself by trying to get lunch and not having the means to pay for such, her mom told her to not draw attention to herself and to remain seated. The girl did not know when or how long it would take for her to be able to start receiving meals again. Upset by this, I went home to tell my grandmother how crushed I was that this girl that I barely knew could not eat lunch. My grandmother then helped me pull out my old lunchbox, prepare another meal, and the next day I walked into school with two lunchboxes, one in each hand. This repeated several days until the counselor, who went to my church and knew that this was happening, called me into her office to share that she watched the paperwork go through and that I should encourage my friend to join the lunch line with everyone else the following day. Even though I was elated to be serving the Lord in this way, the other girls at the table were not happy about it. They would tell me things like “She probably is lying to you” or “You are getting taken advantage of” or “She probably does not even get free lunches anyway.” These comments did not change my behavior. As far as I was concerned, that was not my problem. My job as a Christian is not to question why someone is in the situation that they are in, but rather to serve them, without judgement, and to meet them where they are at. I saw a need in my friend, and with help, I filled it.
In this parable, I have a lot of respect for the Samaritan man, not just because he helped someone that was an enemy of his people, but also for his openness and readiness to serve a neighbor. How easy it would have been to simply feel sympathy or to show anger over the people who robbed and beat him. Having those feelings are not bad – they are natural. However, it cannot stop there. Our feelings of sympathy and anger over unfortunate circumstances should motivate us to meet the unfairness with the peace and joy of the spirit of God. Our job as Christians is to be willing to serve these needs; to be willing to be placed in the role that the Lord is calling us toward.
One of my favorite quotes is “God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”
The Samaritan that helped the injured traveler was not a paramedic (I am aware that these were not available in their day, but you see the point). He was not a pastor. He wasn’t even “supposed to be” a friend of the man. He was a regular old Joe that happened to have supplies to clean the man, a donkey to transport the man, and some money to pay for the man’s stay at the inn. When God uses you, he will equip you. You just have to be willing and eager to be utilized.
In this Lenten season, as we are ridding ourselves of the things that come between our relationship with the Lord, I challenge you to think about the things that limit you from becoming a full servant of Jesus Christ. I pray that you realize the tools that God has blessed you with, and you become willing to serve your neighbors in such a way that is God-honoring. There are people in your everyday life that need you and who need to see the love of God through you.