But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
The Samaritan was willing to get up close and personal, to step into this hurting man’s world, to be involved. He was willing to do something that would make a difference. He was willing to tend to the wounds of a stranger, to spend money, to take care of a broken person in need. It was an admirable demonstration of true selflessness, especially considering that stranger might not have done the same for him simply because he was a Samaritan.
And we might say he went above and beyond, but really, this is how Jesus expects us to respond to those around us. This is how we are to treat others. This is what it means to love your neighbor. This is what Jesus had been trying to tell them all along. So shouldn’t we make “going above and beyond” our norm and be willing to give and do for others no matter who they are and no matter how they would treat us?
We are to let go of self and live for Jesus. And this is exactly what Jesus is all about. Didn’t He come to us where we were and give us healing, give us life? Didn’t He sacrifice for our sakes? Didn’t He treat us with compassion and love? So can’t we be willing to close the gaps and kneel down and do something that will matter to someone else? Can’t we be willing to lend some support along the way, to help people get to where they need to be? Can’t we care more than we do? Can’t we do more good? Can’t we show our love? Can’t we go to extremes?
The Samaritan made a significant investment in this other man’s life. He spent the night taking care of him, and he gave the innkeeper some money, maybe all the money he had, so he could continue to be cared for. But then he promised to come back. He wasn’t done being involved. He would give more if that was necessary. Jesus has made that same significant investment in us. He stepped into a messy situation and made it good. His love intervened and brought us our salvation. He paid a tremendous cost, and He will be coming back. So in the meantime, let us invest in those around us. Let us love others like Jesus would. Let us be willing to make a difference for His sake and for theirs. Let’s live in a way where we truly love our neighbors as ourselves.