*Mic Check & Cough*
First let me give honor to God whose the head of my life... to the bishop and all the ministers, pastors, prophets, deacon, apostles and first ladies...
It is truly a pleasure to come before you on today... Let Us Pray!
Now I just want to take a moment and minister in the topic...
”Where is the Love & Compassion? ”
If you would turn your Bible to Luke chapter number 10 starting at the 25th verse and we’ll read until verse 37...
And it reads:
“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance, a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” Luke 10:25-37 NLT
I want to take a moment to intellectually, morally, and spiritually unpack this particular text on this afternoon. As I grieve the current state of the Body of Christ, the church at large, our government and our nation as a whole; I am provoked within my inner man to address what seems to me - to be the elephant in the room. Love & Compassion. We currently live in a time where people will jump to the opportunity to correct you in love but will neglect the responsibility to care for you with compassion. I only came for a moment to discuss this deductively as my goal is to encourage you all to make more moves from a place of compassion and not a place of resentment or bitterness.
As we examine our text today, we find a man who has come to a season in life where he is now a victim of circumstance. The Bible does not disclose why this man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. However, the scripture says “Just so happen, or by chance, a priest comes along passing the man.” And what I like about this particular scripture is, the MSG version says “Luckily, a priest sees him.” Now anyone who is familiar with this road as the Jewish is known the danger and difficulties that are embedded within this trip. Nearly an 18 mile walk with no shelter, food, rest stop, or water wales. Now, this road is on the back side of a mountain almost like a desert cliff that has to be traveled up or down, and at some points on the road - it is so narrow that anyone passing by would have to step over this man’s body to keep going. Yet It is said that many Jews would travel this route to visit Jerusalem for Holy festivals. On the contrary, this particular man was coming from Jerusalem, as a priest sees him. The Bible says that "Luckily a priest coming down the same road, sees the man but decides to cross to the other side of the road and passed him by. This is where I pause parenthetically to make my first point of the evening. “Isn’t it interesting how the people we thought would help us always ends up being the ones who abandon us in our most vulnerable times.” Here it is: you’re a priest, the Man Of God, one sent to do the will Of God by preaching the Gospel to the poor, recovering sight to the blind, and setting those captive free is the same one that said “ole I don’t have time for that, let my administrative assist get up with you.”
So then the Bible proceeds to tell us, a Levite religious man, or in other words, a temple assistant - you know the captain of the praise team, leader of the usher board, head of the finance committee - on of them starts walking the same path and suddenly see this misfortunate man. Now I understand the priest may have had another engagement to get to, or was on some very important assignment and couldn’t be distracted. However, I would’ve surely thought the ones who work in the temple could help this man out. Yet, the Bible tells us that this second person crosses the road as well as passing the man by. And for the sake of my imagination, I’m going to assume the deacon was going to get help because He could help this guy alone. It would be immature of me to just bash this man of God assuming he didn’t care. Nevertheless, I’m reminded of a scripture that says in James 4:17 "therefore, whosoever knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin." On the other hand, for the sake of his status in the temple, let’s just say he offered the man prayer and kept it moving. Isn’t that just like this twenty-first century Christianity. We’ll pray for you but that about it. Yet if we go back to the top of our text, it was the experts in the law, the teachers, the Pharisees or in modern terms it was the preachers who questioned Jesus about getting eternal life. Yet when Jesus expounds on its requirements, they’re put to the test but failed. Here my disclaimers: although this story is very detailed and seems true Jesus is still answering their question through parable, as He always does.
So here is my final point in the story, and Y'all I promise I’m almost done. Granddaddy taught me that when Jesus is finished so are you. Therefore I’m about to wrap this thing on up, but before I go. Jesus concludes by saying after the priest walked by after a temple assistant walked by, another man comes strolling along the path. Y’all have to excuse me because this is where I get excited because the bibles go on to mention that this man is a despised Samaritan. If you know anything about the Bible and the culture of that day, you know Jew and Samaritans don’t really fool with each other. We know this by looking at the story with Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the whale. Jews and Samaritans didn't get along for the simple fact that their theological construct was different. They believed to different this so disagreed, hard. Anyway, this Samaritan man is walking down the path and the bible says "when he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He felt compassion for him." Then it proceeds to tell us this man begins to wrap the man's wounds in bandages. giving him first aid services. The Samaritan then puts the injured Jewish man on his donkey and takes him to a hotel to recover. To skip to my point of this message because I believe you know the rest of the story; yet if his enemy can be moved his natural emotion to help him out when he is down, how much more does it take for his own people to help him up.?