The Modern Day Good Samaritan: How To Love Your Neighbor

The parable in the Bible about “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37) was the response Jesus used after leaders of the law were testing him. They were trying to see if Jesus would stumble.

The story, in a nutshell, is how there was a man in need of trouble. Two people, who professed to be God-honoring, should have helped this man, but didn’t. A third person, who was detestable to some in their day, did.

Jesus used the story to illustrate how you can tell who is your neighbor.

Here’s a modern day version of the story that might intrigue. How many of us have seen a beggar on a street corner who shows up day after day asking for money? He walks up and down the same road collecting small coins and bills from the few that are willing to stop. What is uncollected by the rest of us who continue on our way, is the overwhelming number of judging glances that he is sure to receive throughout the day from the majority of passersby who do not stop. I bet the collection pool of those glances is in the thousands.

I’m guilty of placing on this man the thought “get a job.” Or, in our community this is true: “this is illegal”. While I may agree with both of those statements, who am I helping? This person is clearly in need. Money is not the primary need either. His need is a neighbor.

I’m not using this story to recommend giving money to the man on the street. In some cases, it may be too dangerous. What I am advocating for is to remember who is your neighbor. Help someone [today].

I’ve used this before, but you can do this more easily than you may think. Buy the coffee for the guy behind you in line. Don’t slam the elevator “close-door” button when you see someone coming with whom you aren’t looking forward to a 20 second elevator ride. Go out of your way to listen to someone that you’ve before internally dismissed somehow as not worthy of your time. We all do this. You’re not alone. But, we all can change. Jesus told the experts in the law who heard his story to “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).

You and I: go and do likewise.

Share with friends and family who are great at loving people and with those who need a boost. To God be the glory!

-Micah Brooks