Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
We all come into this world and, going about our way, are attacked. We are attacked by our sin nature within us, by Satan outside of us, and by all his evil influences in the world. They are thieves, and their intent is to take every good thing we have within us. They strip us of our clothing, making us exposed and vulnerable to future troubles and further suffering, shaming us by revealing our most private thoughts and desires to all who might pass by, telling the whole world we are dirty, rotten, worthless sinners. They wound us. They hurt us in profound ways and care not that we bleed or that we are in pain. Finally, they leave us half dead. When there is nothing left to take, since they have not power to take life, they leave us dying, ready to go into eternity in our current state—empty, broken, defeated, hopeless.
The priests and the Levites pass by. The world systems pass by. Philosophies and ideas pass by. Empty religion passes by. But someone else comes along who does not pass by. Someone comes along, himself a stranger, unwanted, despised by the people of the day. He comes along and sees us in our helpless, miserable state. He sees us naked and bleeding, gasping for air, on our way to eternal hell. This man has compassion on us, for he is full of love and mercy.
And though it might be easier not to, though it might be cheaper not to, he comes to us. He kneels down beside us and binds up our wounds with the care of a nurse. He pours in oil and wine to soothe the pain, to cleanse the dirt away, and provide us comfort and ease as he picks us up and lays us on his beast. He walks down the rocky road beside his donkey, holding us up as he takes us to a place of safety, an inn. There he ministers to us, giving us a new garment to wear, something clean and fresh. He cleans the blood from our wounds and wraps them in bandages so they can heal. He gives us water to drink and food to eat to give us strength and aid our recovery. He gives us a new life, rescues us from the very brink of death.
Then he goes on his way after this detour. He leaves no receipt, no bill for his services. He goes to the innkeeper and pays the whole cost and counts it not. He spends everything he had on us and then leaves us in capable hands. He makes provision for our future so we can be healed wholly and completely without any cost at all to us. He makes sure that for the rest of our journey, though not trouble-free or even easy, we will have a companion and a guide, a friend to share the load, to help in any way.
Of course, this man was Jesus. His parable of the Good Samaritan paints a vivid picture of what He did for us. And though our sacrifice will never be as great as His, though we could never give as much, we can give. We can give others the truth of Jesus and the salvation He offers. We can give help to those in need. We can give love and compassion to the brokenhearted, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, hope to this dying world we live in. We can give ourselves to Him, and He will use us as He needs us.