Many people like the idea of living life as the good Samaritan as we have laid it out in the past several blog entries. But then, real life hits. We get too busy, we are too scared or we simply honestly don't care. If we are to end poverty in America we must get honest about our care for those in poverty. Let's spend some weeks now looking at alternatives to the story of the Good Samaritan and see if there is any excuse to not love our neighbor.
Good Samaritan Alternatives
Let us take a look at some different story lines and consider what we might think if the story had been told just a little different.
Scenario 1: The man beat up had actually been one of the thieves until recently: The Samaritan comes upon the man and remembers seeing him on television as a wanted man for robbery on this very road. As in the original story the priest and the Levite are long gone. Now the Samaritan is alone with this wanted man who is lying on the road, nearly dead. What would Jesus have us do in that situation?
Some would say right here and now that the man has made his choice and his lifestyle alone led him to this stage. Even men and women in the church would suggest that it would be the justice of God to leave the man to die there in the streets. They might say something along the lines of, “He made his bed, let him sleep in it.” I am confident that others would come up with Scriptures to back up such a view. However, the compassion of God (His Character) is unbelievable. While the Scriptures do talk of turning a sinner over and that some have become too calloused to ever be redeemed, we in the flesh have no way of knowing if that has happened to this man or not. Paul was at least an accessory to one murder that we know about. Would we write him off? Jesus invited the thief on the cross to join Him in Heaven. Moses committed murder, we don’t have names for all of the witches and homosexuals that turned from their sin to follow after Christ. God can use anyone and we are not to be the ones to write them off. As a caution I do say that if this man is a known murderer than it might be a good idea to use wisdom in your handling of him. Patch him up and take him to the inn. Then take him someplace where experts can work alongside of others to serve him and lead him to a place of being restored to community. If he returns to a lifestyle of murder, thievery or other crimes allow the authorities to deal with him. Our role is to care for him and show him a better way regardless of his past.