(Part 41)


July 10, 2016

Today’s gospel:  Luke 10:25-37

The good Samaritan is an example of one who is merciful. He felt compassion at the sight of a man stripped, beaten and left half-dead by robbers (v.33,30). But that could just be kindness or admirable human concern. What made it mercy was that the Samaritan and the Jew who was beaten were enemies. Further, the Samaritan really went out of his way to help the Jew–administering first-aid, lifting him up on his own animal (and getting dirty and bloody in the process), bringing him to an inn, and personally caring for him (v.34). Not only that, he gave money to the innkeeper and promised more money as was needed to care for him (v.35). And he intended to return to see how the man was doing. The Samaritan “treated him with mercy.” (v.37a).

To be merciful is to have the merciful heart of God. We need to understand how God’s heart is, and for that we need to enter deeply into a life in Him, giving Him our all. It is as we do so that we also begin to understand His love for all His children in the world. If we then love God, we must love those whom He loves, and that is our neighbor. Thus mercy is lived out by means of the greatest commandment. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (v.27).

God expects us to be merciful, and if we are not, we endanger our entry into heaven. The scholar of the law asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (v.25). Giving the answer himself, Jesus told him: “do this and you will live.” (v.28). To enter into eternal life, we need to love God with our all, to love our neighbor as ourself, and to be merciful as God is merciful.

Pointing to what the good Samaritan did, Jesus says to us, “Go and do likewise.” (v.37b).

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