By Jan Tomasik
Let me just start this message by saying that if you are feeling low, physically worn out, spiritually beat-up and financially broke than this message is for you. However if you feel like you are high on the mountain and you can take on the world, spiritually charged and not a care in sight this message is for you.
Recently I read the parable of The Good Samaritan. I am sure you know this parable, but for those of you who like reading stories I will tell you again. There was a lawyer who came to Jesus and asked him, “What must I do to be saved?” He knew the answer to this question before he asked it. He was a lawyer who had studied the law and taught it to others. He was very knowledgeable and very smart. Then Jesus’ answer was exactly what he expected it would be. The answer to his question was the cornerstone of Hebrew Law. Jesus said, “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.” (Luke 10:27) Then he said do this and you will be saved. To justify himself the lawyer then asked, “Who is my neighbor?” And again the lawyer knew the answer to this question also. By the Hebrew law every Jew was his neighbor. This was the answer he expected from Jesus. But Jesus had something else in mind. Jesus told him a parable.
“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.” (Luke 10: 30-35)
Now, Jesus said, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The lawyer replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” This answer he was not expecting. By law a priest or a Levite was not obligated to help this half dead man who was holding onto his life by a thread. After all he was naked and did not talk. His language or his clothes would have revealed his identity. They could not tell if he was a Jew or a gentile. They were not guilty of any sin by their interpretation of law. But Jesus came to fulfill the law and the way he saw it the law was perfect. The interpretation of people like this lawyer was the problem.
This lawyer had no desire to learn. He had a different agenda. He wanted to justify himself and gain honor from Jesus also. That is why Jesus told the parable only half way. Yes, Jesus told the parable half way because if this man had come with his heart opened he would have heard the second part. Now you are in luck because I am going to finish it all the way.
There was an actual event that took place in the Old Testament. Jesus only changed the place and the names when he told the parable. We find the story in I Samuel 30: 9-12. David and his men were in pursuit of their enemy and on the way they found a man in the field. This man was half dead. He didn’t have food or water for three days. This man was left behind to die. But David showed up at the right time. He took him in. This man had nothing to offer. David did not know this man’s identity. Sound familiar? Furthermore, by law David was not obligated to give assistance to this man. David had no agenda. He just wanted see this man live. He just wanted to see this man survive. He did not want anything from this man. He just wanted him back on his feet. And that is the first half of the story.
For you that are feeling low, physically worn out, spiritually beat-up and financially broke, don’t ever doubt your value and meaning to God. You are loved by God. God will send people your way at the right time. People like David. People that do not have an agenda. People that don’t want anything from you. People that want to see you live. People that want to see you survive. People that want to see you rise. They want to see you smile again, they have a hug for you, they have some money for you, they have a blessing for you, a handshake, a prayer. They just want to see you back on your feet. I call them Kingdom neighbors.
Kingdom neighbors are real. If you don’t know any personally that does not mean they are not around. What it means is that you are just surrounded by the wrong people. You need to forget everybody that passed you by. Anybody that looked beyond you, that did not help you, that did not love you. You need to forget them because your value is not determined by them but by the Almighty God. Because, when your Kingdom neighbor shows up those people will no longer matter. Your Kingdom neighbor will clean and bandage your wounds. He will wait for you to recover. He will see that you survive. He will wait until you rise. He has no agenda. He wants nothing from you. He just wants to see you back on the road to glory.
Now onto the second half. After this man who David helped had made a full recovery, David asked him who he was. The man said that he was an Egyptian who was a slave to the Amalekites. He was sick when his master left him behind. They had burned down Ziklag, a city of David’s kingdom. This man needed David to save his life. But David soon found out that he also needed this man. Because of what David had done for this man, he had gained for himself an ally. This man continued to help David by tracking down his enemies and David saw a great victory. God will put the right people in your path if you fallow his map.
The second half that Jesus did not tell the lawyer was this. If you love your neighbor as yourself and you have no agenda. If you just want to be all God wants you to be, you cannot escape your reward even if you are just being a Kingdom neighbor. The lawyer wanted to justify himself. He wanted to show Jesus that he obeyed the law. But there is no reward in the law. David got his reward even when he was not expecting one. Because he simply just loved his neighbor.
So, for you out there that feel like you are high on the mountain and you can take on the world, you are spiritually charged and not a care in sight. Find somebody that is feeling low, is physically worn out, spiritually beat-up and financially broke, and be all God wants you to be. Be a Kingdom neighbor.