“Go and do likewise.”
Truth is beginning to dawn. Jesus is no longer a new voice people are curious about but has become a challenge to Jewish, spiritual thinking. Most of us have heard about Jesus, if only as a swear word and we have heard about God but what does that really mean to us today where our lives meet the trials of life? An expert in the law asks Jesus a question to test Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?” The man knows the answer, love God with you heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus agrees. The problem is not knowledge but will. The expert keeps pushing, “So who is my neighbor?” He wants a set of rules. He wants his boundaries defined. He wants to live life in control, knowing he is ok, not life as grace and a gift from God. Jesus gives him a picture and a parable many of us know, The Good Samaritan.
A “nobody” was beaten up, robbed, and left for dead on the road. Three “somebodies” walk by without helping. It is not their responsibility. But…but a foreigner sees the man and helps. So Jesus asks, “Who do you think was a neighbor to the man in distress.” Caught! The man is convicted by his own words. I suspect the guy hung his head and mumbles, the foreigner. Jesus responds, “Go and do likewise.”
The opening question rings in our ears, “What must we do to be saved?” In fact this feels like it is being played out on our world stage today! What must we do? We must lead lives of integrity spiritually, socially, and personally. As we walk through Lent, I hear Jesus challenging me to take him seriously and not play games. I do not know how that parable speaks into your life or the political powers of our world but let us take a moment to consider who our neighbor is today. Who needs our encouragement, our forgiveness or our love? Is there someone you have walked by that God is asking you to engage with? Spend one minute in silence and see if a name comes to your mind. Blessings.
Our Lenten challenge for today, ”In the United States, more than 35 millions people are hungry. Give 35 cents today (Put 35 cents in your Lenten container) and pray for these people.”