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Annually on November 24
Posted by Dr. Johnson Cherian
He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what
must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you
read it?" He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to
justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man
was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They
stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest
happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on
the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the
other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw
him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and
wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after
him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may
have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the
hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus
told him, "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:25-37)
The priest and the Levite could have helped but perhaps there were many things that
hindered them from helping. Perhaps they did not want to get involved, perhaps it was a
prestige issue, perhaps they were not concerned about his sufferings, perhaps they judged
him saying that it was his own fault and so on and so forth. There could be a 101 guesses
why they just passed by uncaringly.
But the Samaritan cared like the half dead man was someone from his own family and did
everything that was in his capacity to ease his pains without asking questions.
Were there risks involved? Of course; but he was willing to go the second mile.
We often justify our “not helping others” by asking questions and proving our point, but
Jesus knows our hearts.
The Bible says,
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)