Luke 10:29 NIV ” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
This past few weeks my entire family had the frustration of catching the Covid virus. I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything like this in my life. From drenching the bed at nights with uncontrollable sweating, extreme sweetness and saltiness in the tastebuds to vertigo and unbalance internally. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy after experiencing it.
Through it though, I’ve thought a lot about the story this verse comes from in the gospel of Luke. An expert in the Jewish law was trying to justify his actions to Jesus and asked this question concerning whom he should consider his neighbor. Whom should I demonstrate compassion and care for? So as He often did, Jesus responds with a story that we know as the parable of the Good Samaritan. To say that Jews were not fans of Samaritans would be an understatement. They had an extreme disdain for the other, and Jesus chooses to illustrate a person with a heart of compassion as a Samaritan. A man was traveling and fell among thieves. He was robbed and left wounded on the side of the road needing help. The religious passed by with callousness to his need, but the Samaritan bandaged his wounds and took him to the nearest town for care.
My family felt the care we needed through these past few weeks. Not expecting to be hit so hard by such an impactful virus, we could easily be illustrated by the man left on the side of the road. But we found kindness and compassion so prevalent around us: from texts and phone calls to food given multiple times. We knew that there were so many willing to care for us when we found ourselves in need…and it felt good.
The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:12 NIV “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Now we get to pay it forward. To choose to love our neighbor and those suffering hard times around us, and in doing so, make the world a better place.