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Go and Do the Same - Friday, April 27th, 2007

“Jesus replied and said, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?’ And he said, ‘The one who showed mercy toward him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same.’”
Luke 10:30-37

About a week ago, one of the volunteers came up to me and said that someone had been beaten with a baseball bat two blocks away, outside a fast food restaurant. My initial thought was, “How true is this story?” The guy that informed me of the situation has told me numerous stories that have been far fetched and hard to fathom, so to be honest… I tuned him out. But then another volunteer further explained that there really was a person just lying there. No one was helping him. Apparently, a group of individuals jumped this person and beat this individual profusely. I began to think to myself, “Surely, someone has already called the Dallas police.” I mean, if I am two blocks away and have already heard about this horrible incident, surely someone is at this person’s side. But as I found out, no one had called the cops or the paramedics. No one had taken the initiative to help. Here was a just a man lying on the pavement in blood. And no one was willing to drop everything and help. That was UNTIL one of our volunteers took it upon himself to walk back to the scene and call the paramedics.

When is the last time that you have heard or seen someone in need? It probably wasn’t that long ago. And we either did one of two things…we “saw him, and passed by on the other side” as the priest and Levite did, OR we “saw him, (he) felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him” as the Good Samaritan did. The choice is always ours.

Just as the pastor spoke last night, we can either put our faith into action or we can ignore the opportunities that have been presented in front of us. Take for example the priest and the Levite. When they saw the man in need, they avoided the situation. They acted like they never saw the man hurting. They acted upon their own agendas. Someone else will help out. One commentator wrote, “How easy it is for those who handle the rituals of religion to become calloused and treat the opportunities to minister as trivial and commonplace.” Think about this with me. When is the last time you dropped everything to help minister to someone? When is the last time you went out of your way to someone in need? Do you even have a heart for those hurting? Well, I will be the first to admit, this is hard, especially when we think we have something so pressing that we can’t take 5 minutes out of our day to help someone. As a source of encouragement, take a look at the Good Samaritan. The Scriptures say he “was on a journey.” The Samaritan was on his way to do something. He was on a mission. He would have fit nicely in our busy society today. But thankfully, he didn’t respond as many of us Christians would have. The Samaritan altered his journey to express compassion upon the man in need. The “journey” was now this man in need. Not only was the Samaritan willing to spend time with him, but he was also willing to physically take care of him through his financial support. He provided bandages, oil and wine. He even placed him on his beast and took him to an inn to get rest. And if the man beaten up needed to stay longer, the Samaritan was willing to pay for that as well. The Samaritan man went above and beyond to help this man.

With the Samaritan story as our backdrop, don’t you think it is about time the Church in Dallas went above and beyond to help those in need within our very own communities? As followers of Christ, we have been called to help those in need. Let us not pass them by when we know they need the love of Christ. Therefore, I ask each of you to specifically pray about your role you may play to those in need. Maybe it is a neighbor. Maybe it is a brother. Maybe it is a teacher. Maybe it is the homeless guy on Gaston and Haskell. Whoever the Lord brings into your “journey,” are you willing to stop and help?

Personally speaking, the Lord has laid on my heart the Sandbranch community (20 miles outside of Dallas). In 2004, the Dallas Morning News identified this are of 54 households as one of the poorest areas within the nation. Oh Father, please show me how to display mercy to this community. It seems like a hopeless situation, but I long to see drinking water come to their community. I long for them to have a shelter over their heads. I long for them to have warm food to eat. Why I do feel so passionate about this? Because I believe we have been instructed by Jesus Christ Himself to help those in need. He said to His disciples, in referencing the actions of the Good Samaritan, “Go and do the same.” Therefore, if we have been commanded by Jesus to help others, what are we waiting for?
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan