“Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.” Luke 10:34 NLT
The good Samariatan in Jesus’ story is meant to be an example for us of how we ought to live in regards to those around us. This is quite possibly the most well-known parable that Jesus ever told, yet it seems possible that it is still under appreciated and maybe even a little misunderstood.
It reminds us today to not only be aware of the needs that are around us but to also understand that we can make a difference. Often times we miss our opportunity to do something positive not because we don’t “want” to and not because we don’t recognize the urgency of the need in front of us, but because we simply refuse to allow the need to distract us from our daily life.
Where was this Samaritan man headed that day? For what purpose was he travelling this road?
I believe it is safe to assume that he wasn’t out on that road just looking for an opportunity to do something nice. It is far more likely that the Samaritan man was trying to get somewhere that he needed to be. Perhaps he was going to visit family, or he was on his way to work, perhaps this was an important trip related to his business or his faith. Whatever the case, it is important for us to realize that this man took the time to stop what he was doing and take care of someone else.
How many times have we allowed the reality of a need in someone else’s life to change our scheduled activities for the day? Perhaps one of the most significant, and possibly the most overlooked, lessons in this story is one about priorities. We often talk about the need to “stop and smell the roses” and not let the busyness of life distract us from the truly important things in life. The reality is that in nearly every instance the so-called important thing that we have planned for the day is very likely far less important than making a positive impact in the life of a person in need.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”” John 13:34-35 NLT
It is likely that the “important” things that we feel we need to get done today could probably wait until tomorrow while we make a real difference in the life of our neighbour today.