One day, Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus reply to that question is interesting, because Jesus wasn’t all that concerned about who we “neighbor” as was asked. His answer implied that he was more concerned about how we neighbor.
Jesus’ answer as to the man’s question is in the parable of the Good Samaritan. You can read it at Luke 10:25-37. It’s a story of contrasts. In our western culture we have a tendency to focus on the contrasts of who is in the story versus the how. We focus on the difference between the Jewish Priests and the Samaritan- racism. We focus on the contrast between the Samaritan and the man helpless on the road- powerful vs. powerless. Or we focus on the contrast of priests not caring and the Samaritan caring.
What if the focus is not on who did the caring but how the caring was accomplished? When you look at it with this emphasis you see a fresh lesson. Basically, the Good Samaritan went the extra mile and beyond. He set aside his own agenda to help this man. He delayed his own needs to take on this man’s needs. He gave of his own bank account. He even followed up on him the next day to make sure he was good to go.
In one word the Samaritan was willing to sacrifice his own good for the good of this man. What if the church was like that? Well, actually, the church was like that. You see it in the book of Acts, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 2:44-45