Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Community News 11/8/17


Luke 10:31-32

"On the Other Side"

Imagine the man lying there bleeding, barely breathing. Then he sees a figure approaching. As the figure draws closer, he realizes it is a priest. His spirits lift. Help has arrived. But the priest isn’t slowing down. His steps aren’t turning towards him. No, he passes by on the other side of the road.

Hope rises again when another religious official, a Levite, comes along. Surely he will stop. He looks and sees the half-alive lump of a person. And then, he too passes by—on the other side. 

The very people whose “job” it was to help, chose to ignore the man. It’s actually as if they went out of their way to avoid him, to put it out of their minds, or to make it less uncomfortable. Do you think they prayed for him as they walked by?

Our real-time reactions reveal the state of our hearts. We do what we most want to do in any given moment. When the priest walked by, his desire for something else was stronger than his desire to help the man. Likewise, the Levite wanted something else more than he wanted to stop. 

Paul writes in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”

We need more than our wills in order to obey God. After all, His commands aren’t to be learned intellectually; they’re to be lived joyfully. 

It’s frightening to see how religious people who thoroughly know God’s Word are capable of such tragic responses to suffering. It’s frightening to see those same tendencies in our hearts. 

But let’s not stop at, “Shame on them for passing by, and shame on me for all the times I’ve passed by.” 

Yes, shame on all of us. But, that is why Christ came. And now, glory to God! 

A few verses later in Romans, Paul rejoices in the freedom from his slavery to sin: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (7:24-25)

Our wills always fail us, but Christ never does. He rescued us and changed us. In knowing Him, we become people who can’t pass by. Our hearts slowly morph, and we become people who see suffering and cross over to the same side of the road, to help.

Adapted From:  The Good Samaritan - You Version