As we approach the mid-term elections, I’m reminded of a tow truck driver who was called to assist someone stranded on the freeway. When the driver pull up behind the car, he saw a bumper sticker for a candidate he disliked vehemently. He informed the driver that he could not assist someone who would vote for that candidate and then, simply, drove away. (The tow truck driver was later fired for his actions.)
Jesus told a parable somewhat similar. A Jew was traveling on a road when he was attacked by robbers. They beat him severely, stole his goods, and left him for dead at the side of the road.
Two people, a priest and a Temple assistant, saw the man lying in the road and, rather than helping him, they crossed the street to pass him by [Luke 10.31-32].
Then a Samaritan man came along. He was the last person you’d expect to help a Jew as there was a long standing hatred between them. This Samaritan overlooked his prejudices and helped the badly wounded Jew. Knowing that he needed additional care, he took the man to the nearest clinic and paid for his care out of his own pocket.
After telling the story, Jesus asked, “Which of these three would you say was a neighbor?” It’s obvious, right? The one who showed mercy. Then Jesus told them, “Go and do the same” [10.36-37].
There are many ways to be merciful to others so, when you see someone in need, do something other than cross the street.
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. Luke 10.31-32