You don’t need to look too hard to find evidence that we are living in a sinful world. Even those of us who are Christians, regularly referred to as saints in New Testament letters, struggle with sin. A quick glance at the headlines or turn on social media quickly confirms this. Too often I’m convicted by my own selfishness and reminded of Paul’s instruction to the believers in Philippi: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).
The parable of the Good Samaritan, though told 2,000 years ago, is a timeless reminder of the high value God places on compassion. We are taught by Jesus that despite the myriad of differences we may have with one another, we are alike in the one most important way: each person is created in God’s image.
So, how do we keep the cacophony of culture from drowning out the sweet dulcet sounds of the Gospel? How then does the Gospel constrain us when it comes to showing compassion to others?
The Gospel tells us that we’re sinners in need of the cleansing, all-sufficient blood of Christ. The Gospel, when received with a thankful heart, compels us to show the same grace to others that God has shown to us in Jesus. It is important to understand that the Gospel not only saves us, but also empowers us to follow the most holy commands: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
The good news of Jesus living a sinless life on earth, being crucified without guilt, buried without His own tomb, and raised again by His own Word transforms the guiltiest of hearts into Christ-honoring, love-bearing, neighbor-serving ambassadors of heaven’s Gift on earth.
How then should we respond to the story of the Good Samaritan?
I encourage you to spend some time in the attached study guide written by Pastor Jamin Roller. If you make it through one page per day, you’ll have spent 5 days studying the parable of the Good Samaritan.
“All of us carry biases and divisions within us. It’s part of what it means to be sinful people in a broken world, but Jesus came to free us from that bondage so that we can walk in the freedom of loving in a way that displays God’s love for us.”
Read through the rest of the study guide here.