I recently read the story of the Good Samaritan. Regardless of your religious beliefs, please read the story below and seek the wisdom in the words exchanged between Jesus and a lawyer.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “ A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him,
and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he sat him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.” Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
I am not a preacher or a theologian and don’t believe I a qualified to interpret the scripture for you. I will only make a few observation based on my limited knowledge and my life experiences. You have the greatest teacher who ever lived being questioned by a very good lawyer. I say he is a good lawyer; based on what I was told by a lawyer. “In a court room never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.” When Jesus hears the first question he knows the lawyer knows the answer. So he answers a question with a question. Then he answers the second question with a story.
My first observation: Jesus knew and used the power of a sincere question and a thought provoking story. As I have gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I find giving someone something to think about is more helpful than telling them what to think.
Another observation. I should aspire to love all Gods children. It seems clear Jesus didn’t teach pick and choose. He loved everyone. My prayer is for the wisdom to love the people who cross my path, not label and judge them. When I am thinking I am better than someone else or dealing with someone who thinks they are better than me, I remember the wise words of Coach John Wooden’s dad. “Son don’t ever think you are better than someone else, but never forget you’re just as good as anybody.”
My last observation. It is easy to say I love everyone. It is much harder to walk the talk. The Good Samaritan had the wisdom to know who his neighbor was and the wisdom to respond. I would ask you to ponder the questions I am asking myself. Who is my neighbor? Will I respond in a way that Jesus will tell others, “Go and do Likewise.”