Defining Love (Luke 10: 25-37)
A strong decision in favour of love for people and for God could enable
us to free ourselves from of all sorts of fear in our life.
Z.K. Pahrü Pou
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]uke 10:25-37, which talks about the Good Samaritan, contains one of the best parables/illustrations of love told by Jesus. This seminal parable continues to remind Christians throughout the centuries as to how a follower of Jesus should behave towards one’s neighbour (or people who are in need of our service/help). Every preacher likes to preach about this parable and everyone enjoys listening to it inside the church. But the doers are few making it an ‘everybody said but nobody did’ lesson. Despite this shortcoming in practice, the more we read this parable, the more we learn something new. In the following discussion, I would like to bring out the character of the Good Samaritan in ten ways – to demonstrate what love is and ought to be.1. The Good Samaritan looked around: (v 33a- and he saw him): ‘Looking around’ is one of the important aspects of Christian ministry. When we look around, it shows our concern for other people. The Good Samaritan looked around and he found the injured man who needs his help. Jesus also looked around in his earthly ministry. He saw the big crowd following him, felt pity on them and fed them (Luke. 6:5). As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to look around – and see what is happening in our society. We tend not to see the things or problems that are not affecting us directly. When we look around we see others and when we see others we cease looking at ourselves and ourselves alone. As long as we look ourselves, we remain selfish – giving preference to our self and our concern alone. Where are we looking at today? Do we see any needy people around us?
2. Moved with compassion the Good Samaritan interrupted his journey: (v 33b- he had compassion): The Good Samaritan interrupted his journey for others despite progressing journey and saved the dying man. Likewise, Jesus often interrupted his journey to attend to the immediate need of the people. For instance, Jesus was on a very urgent and important mission (to save a dying girl of a most important figure – Jairus, the ruler of synagogue) but interrupted his journey for the sake of a very insignificant and outcast woman who suffered from bleeding (Luke 8:41ff). He healed the bleeding woman both physically and mentally.
William Carey was assigned to preach in a church when he heard the news of government’s order banning Sati – the practice of burning widow. He did not attend the Church but stayed back in his office to write news for press release so as to save another widow being burned in husband’s pyre. Likewise, we also should not be too hurrying in our journey to heaven or too preoccupied with church worship services but neglecting everything that demands our immediate attention. So often, caught up with this fast changing world we are too busy with our own life. We do not have few minutes or hours to spare for others. We do not want to get interrupted for anything except for our own interest and our immediate concern. We need to move slowly because there may be many people who are dying and need our service.
3. The Good Samaritan drew nearer to the injured person (v 34a- went to him): The injured man, as mentioned in the story, might have been in a horrifying look with blood all over his body as he laid there half-dead. We would have never come near to such person unless s/he is from our family members or close relatives. We often hesitate to go nearer to the physically or morally injured persons. Rather than coming nearer and helping them – we tend to keep distance from them. Many of those injured persons in our society would be healed-physically and mentally if we do not hesitate to make them friends by accepting them as they are.
4. The Good Samaritan had surely uttered kind words to him: Although the injured man could not speak out, the Good Samaritan might have uttered kind words to him: “like aiyale…finish my friend ya…you are struggling like this, anyway don’t worry i’ll take care of you.” Kind words can win broken heart. Aggressive and harsh words hurt others. Kind words shows one’s love and caring for other people. It is the first step in healing process.
When a woman was caught by men in an act of adultery and brought to Jesus to be stoned, Jesus challenged the men to think of their own act. After the men left, Jesus comforted the woman saying that he did not condemned her and that she should not repeat the same act again (John 8:11). What would be our response to such woman if she comes to our church to worship God?
Many a time, parents requested me to scold their children for their bad behaviour, drinking, smoking etc. But personally I don’t think scolding with harsh words bring good result. It is kind words that bring people closer to us and to God. With loving words, the Samaritan made friend with the unknown injured man.
5. The Good Samaritan shared with him what he had (v 34 pouring on oil & wine): When we share with others what we have (material or knowledge) – the sin of avarice/greediness vanishes from our life. Love is not found in the act of hoarding/keeping back things for one self. Love can be demonstrated only through giving or sharing with others. We need to realise that whatever we possess today is all from God. In other words, everything belongs to God. We came naked to this world. It is God who gives us everything and we ought to share God’s blessing with one another. If we spend only what we need, we will be able to save up a lot of money with which we can help those who are in need.
6. The Good Samaritan bound up his wounds (v 34): Touch is sensitive. We can easily communicate to others through touch even to people those who cannot speak or hear. The Good Samaritan transmits his love to the injured man through touch. When we touch the wounds of others (physical or mental), we share practically the affliction of other people and lighten their burdens.
Jesus touched with his own hand and healed many diseases earning the rage of many religious leaders who considered those acts to be ‘unclean’ act. Touch is a sign of acceptance and closeness. There are many people in our society who waits us to touch their wounds. Are we ready to touch?
A baby develops close relationship with mother as the mother held him/her close to her. Even if we do not have anything to give, if we come close and touch the pain, the sorrow or sickness of others, we still share and lighten their burdens to a great extent. Therefore touching transmits a sense of warmth, healing and caring to those who are struggling in their life.
(To be continued)