The Parable of the Good Samaritan. We all know it, right? (if not, find it here: Luke 10:25-37) Ever wonder if we might be villainizing the Priest and the Levite just a little too much? I mean, I’m most definitely not trying to belittle what the Samaritan did and what great character the Samaritan had – by any means.
Let me see if I can explain.
Let’s imagine the lives of a Priest. Didn’t he have numerous people counting on him daily? Didn’t he lead the sacrifices at the temple? And the Levite too, right? (Levites were the temple workers; see Leviticus 8.)
Does that sound like an irresponsible person? Does that sound like a mean person? Does that sound like a person who hates other people?
I didn’t think it does either. So let’s keep going with this logic...
What if the Priest was on his way to offer sacrifices...if he stopped to help, many people would be worried for him, inconvenienced by him – he would be irresponsible to his duties if he didn’t show, don’t you think? He couldn’t make a quick call on his cell phone to alert anyone could he?
The same with the Levite, right?
So, considering that Jesus blasts them and commends the Samaritan – I would think that should really get our attention about our “religious activities.” Are we so busy running helter-skelter between organized church activities that we leave ourselves no room to be a blessing to others?
Do we even see who needs help? It may seem good if we can see it...“For whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17). So the Priest and Levites sinned. But they also had others counting on them. They’d given their word to do the work of the Lord in the Temple. If they broke their promises, wouldn’t they still be sinning?
Between a rock and a hard place, aren’t we?
I don’t know about you, but that really gets my attention. Could I unintentionally sin by trying to keep my word? Could I unintentionally sin by stopping to help someone and not keeping my word?
Again, I can’t speak for you, but I can see my life needs to be lived a lot more carefully and intentionally.
What if I’m running to orchestra practice, choir practice, ensemble practice – all at church, then running to a church homeless ministry, a widows/orphans ministry, a women’s ministry....but leave those around me broken and beat up from loneliness, discouragement, addiction, depression, pornography, alcoholism...all they see me do is run past them. What must that feel like? (None of these ministries are, of course, bad in and of themselves, but when others start suffering because we do all of them rather than a couple...)
(Just as a side note, I know that there are times in our lives that are busier than others – especially when we have emergencies and family issues. But the difference I’m trying to focus on is, did we cause the busyness from faulty planning or are we the recipients of others’ sin and faulty planning or it this just the trials that we go through on earth for His Name’s sake?)
Perhaps a problem was that the Priest and Levite didn’t allow for any extra time on their way to where they were going. Do you plan for interruptions? Do you plan to be a blessing?
I know I don’t. Will you join me?
Will you join me in falling on my face before a righteous and holy God – begging to be painfully aware of the needs around me and flexible and willing and able to meet the needs that God has prepared for me to meet?
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
because Beauty is more than skin deep,
12:00 AM | Category: | 12 comments