|Posted by saintisaac on February 12, 2010 at 10:28 AM|
In the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus coming under fire from an expert in the law, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus points back and says, "what is written in the law?"
The response by the scholar is exactly right! He knew precisely what the requirements are to ensure an eternal reward. It boils down to two simple points:
1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Quoting these points was easy enough for the law expert but Jesus deals a striking blow when he instructs the master to "Do this..." "Hold on a moment Jesus, you expect us to do these things?" the man must have thought. Jesus quickly moved the discussion from one of belief with the mind to one of belief with the mind, then demonstrated through action!
The story that follows is that of the good samaritan. Long story short, (great reading in Luke 10:30-37). A man falls into the hands of robbers (plug in your own terrible situation) and is left half dead. Have you ever felt half dead, physically - spiritually, emotionally, psychologically? A priest passes the half-dead man, possibly very busy with religious routine, maybe he was on his way to a counseling appointment with a church member or to an important council meeting, etc.
The Levite passes by 'on the other side of the road' maybe not feeling obligated to rescue or minister to those kind of people. But along comes a good samaritan who v. 33 'comes where the man was, saw him and took pity on him.' I would challenge the greatest gift given by the samartian was the gift of 'seeing' the man's need. His eyes were opened to the man's pain. However, seeing without the next step is useless. The scripture tells us that after seeing, v. 33 'took pity on him.' Taking pity is more than seeing someone else and saying 'you poor thing, we’ll keep you in our prayers.'
Taking pity is feeling a sense of hurt for another person. Hurt that becomes so strong that it drives us to make a difference in his/her life. It forces us to ACT! Pity is a willingness to share in the suffering of another to the point of becoming directly involved in his/her situation.
This samaritan, saw...took pity...then acted! This was Jesus' point. Action is required for a follower of Christ when it comes to being qualified for eternal life. Now, our salvation isn't won through action, for it is a free gift from God lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-9).
Stay tuned as I will continue to blog about this, feel free to join in the dialogue by replying to this post.