Luke 10:30-35 – In reply Jesus said: "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 travelled, 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, brought 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.'" (NIV)
The parable of the Good Samaritan is familiar to most of us. As with most things familiar, we usually interpret the story at face value.
But suppose the man was not beaten by thieves in the literal sense. Rather, his spirit was stolen, perhaps by his parents: "Why can't you be smart like your sister?" "Why can't you be good at sports like your brother?" or "You'll never amount to anything!" Perhaps it was by his peers for having the wrong wardrobe, haircut or skin colour. And there the man with the broken spirit lies, half-dead along the road that leads to God. Looking for help — from his fellow man, the priest and Levite — all is futile. They reject him and continue on their own journey.
But the Samaritan exemplifies Jesus by caring enough to stop, to bandage, to comfort. He raises the man from the dirt and lifts him to a higher place on the animal. They travel together on the man's journey, arriving at a place of spiritual shelter. The Samaritan pays for the continued care of the man. Just as Jesus paid the price to restore us to God, so is the man restored.
The Samaritan adds the promise to return and pay whatever is needed to complete the restoration so that the man's journey is complete. Jesus makes the same promise to us. He will return and complete whatever it needed to make His disciples whole in Him.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52a – Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (NIV)
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for Your persistent grace and the promise of everlasting salvation in You. Thank You for being who You said You were, and for doing what You said You would do. We love You, praise You and worship You. Amen.