Who is My Neighbor? | Luke 10:25–37

Welcome to Real Life. The other day, I found myself living a parable.

Helping a person will not necessarily change the world,
but it will change the world for that person.
–Anonymous

“I had an accident on my bike. I need to get to the emergency room. Come quickly!” I told my husband Terry on my cellphone.

 

On a perfect summer morning, I headed out for a bicycle ride on the MetroParks trail. Five minutes in, I approached my first hill. I should have downshifted. Instead, I attempted to muscle my way up, even standing for more power. Standing shifted my weight. The bike flipped over my head and I landed on my backside (thankfully). Somehow though, as the bike flew, the gears ripped open my upper calf. Small globs of fat protruded from the 4” laceration that gushed blood. I immediately pulled out my cellphone and called Terry for help.

As I was hanging up, a young man cautiously approached. “Are you okay? Do you need help?” he asked.

“I just called my husband. He should be here in ten minutes,” I replied.

“Do you want me to stay with you until he comes?”

“If you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate it. I’m bleeding. I’m afraid I might pass out.”

He took a closer look at my wound. “The blood is clotting. You’ll need stitches, but it doesn’t look too bad. I’ve seen some pretty awful injuries playing football. What if I put your bike in the clearing by the road so your husband will see it and know where you are?”

“Great idea! Thanks.” After he did so, I learned my new friend’s name is Teddy. When Terry arrived, the bike would not fit in our car. So, Teddy offered to walk it back to his SUV and drop it off to us later. We exchanged phone numbers. Then, Terry rushed me to the ER where I received twelve stitches.



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“How can I gain eternal life?” an expert in the law asked Jesus.

“What does God’s law say?” Jesus asked in reply. “How do you read it?”

“‘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.’”[1]

“Do this and you will live,” Jesus told him.

“Who is my neighbor?” the law expert asked.

“Traveling to Jericho, a man was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. A priest came by. But seeing the injured man, he crossed on the opposite side of the street. Then a Levite came. He also passed on the opposite site. Afterwards, a Samaritan came along. When he saw the injured man, he was filled with compassion. He bound the man’s wounds, lifted him onto his donkey, and took him to an inn. The Samaritan paid the innkeeper for the man’s room and care and promised to pay any additional expenses the next time he passed that way.

“Which of these three was a neighbor to the man robbed?” Jesus asked.

“The one who showed him mercy,” the law expert replied.

“Go and do likewise,” Jesus said.
_____

“Is there any way I can repay your kindness today?” I texted Teddy later that day.

“I don’t need anything. I was happy to help. Just pay it forward. This world is a cruel place. If people showed more compassion, it would go a long way. Thanks for letting me help you,” he texted back. 

In the midst of a world that can be cruel, a stranger loved me like I was his neighbor. Whether he realized it or not, Teddy had texted me the words of Jesus.  

Go and do likewise!

Father God,
Thank you for sending Teddy, a good Samaritan,
Who was willing to help in my time of need.
Please bless and repay him for his kindness.
Dear Lord, when we see someone in need
I pray we will not pass by on the other side.
Give us the compassion, wisdom, and generosity of heart to help.
And thereby, love our neighbors in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Have you been helped by or helped someone as a Good Samaritan? I'd love to hear about it. Please leave me a comment.

Take it further: Read the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

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[1] Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18

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