Scripture: Luke 10:25–37
Key Verse: “‘Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.‘” (Luke 10:36–37)
This passage draws a lot of attention to the expert of the law as Jesus is telling this parable. The expert in the law has mixed motives in asking Jesus how to inherit eternal life. The story Jesus offers him is powerfully revealing. You see, Samaritans and Jews hated each other at that time. A Samaritan helping a Jew is crazy. But as Jesus shows in this answer, when you love God, you also love your neighbor. This expert in God’s law didn’t understand what loving God and neighbor looked like until he was helped to realize that loving neighbors means loving everyone we encounter, regardless of their ethnicity or other circumstances.
Our purpose in life is founded on the love that God has loved us with. When we respond with open arms to God’s unconditional love, we are able to live out our true purpose of loving God and loving our neighbors, which means everyone we meet. What’s your purpose today? Love God and show that love through tangible action to everyone you meet. Tomorrow? Repeat today and then do the same every day. No matter your task or job or environment, actively love people as you go about your days.
Who do you identify with most in the story? The Jewish man in need of help? The priest or Levite passing by someone who needs help? The Samaritan? The expert in the law? Why?
Have you received unexpected help? How did it affect your life?
This week think of one person you have trouble loving or don’t get along with too well. Try to spend some time with them. Think about how to be a neighbor to them. Ask how you could be praying for them. You might even buy or make them something special to remind them of God’s love for them.
Lord, thank you for such a beautiful purpose. Thank you for first loving me. Lord, loving everybody is hard, especially people that I don’t get along with or can’t connect with. I ask you to work in my heart so I can love others and show mercy to those who need it—like I do. Let me live this purpose out in my life because you first loved me. Amen.