Anglican Morning Devotion for 3 December 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And Jesus answering said, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (LUKE 10:30-36; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
The Jewish people were quite self-righteous believing they were the only ones walking in the favor of the Lord their God. They despised the Samaritans as a mixed race and arrogantly looked down on them. They would not deign to even touch a Samaritan believing them to be unclean – almost considering them in the same light as a leper.
Our narrative today is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. There were at least four men on that road in our narrative – three going DOWN, and One going UP. I guess this is the same kind of Road our Lord referred to as the Broad Way that leads down to destruction. It can even be the same Road depending on the direction we are headed. The Straight and Narrow Way is uphill; but the Lord cares little of how far away we are as long as we are coming to Him (ascending) and not going away (descending). Three men were going DOWN. Had it not been for the One man coming UP, we could have no one to follow with our crosses. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23), for that Samaritan represents our Lord Jesus Christ.
Both the priest and the Levite coming down to Jericho had likely been ritually cleansed at the Temple ere embarking on their journey. They would not stoop to soil their hands or garments with blood – even that of a helpless fellow traveler and Jew. But the Good Samaritan only saw a man who needed help. The injured man could not help himself any more than you or I could have saved ourselves without the intercession of the Holy Ghost to bring us to God. The man was stripped of his clothing, robbed, beaten, and left at the point of death.
Like Jesus, the Good Samaritan had compassion on the man. Compassion is the kind of love that compels action! The man resembles nothing more than refuse cast off beside the road, but suddenly, up comes the Samaritan. What did he do? Now comes a Samaritan UP the Road to Jerusalem. Unlike the priest, the Jew, and the Levite, this man is traveling in the RIGHT direction. (See Psalm 1) Note the actions of the Good Samaritan:
1) “came where he was“ As Christians, we must GO to where the need is greatest, not relax in opulence in our parlors.
2) “he saw him” How many needs go unseen every day though our eyes cannot avoid the observance of that need?
3) “he had compassion on him” Just as our Savior, Christ, this Samaritan, though hated by this Jew, felt the man’s hurt so keenly that he took measures to help the man of his hurt (just as Christ has done for those of us who have come to Him).
4) “And went to him” His first coming to where the man was at the time was, to us, happenstance, but surely to God, our steps were ordered. After coming to a person in need we do not simply stand and watch. We GO to the victim so that we may render assistance. 5) “and bound up his wounds” Just as Jesus practices the triage of treating the most critical need first, so does this Samaritan by binding up the man’s wounds to stop the bleeding. Has Christ not found us with our own blood flowing from our souls and given us life? “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.’ (Ezekiel 16:6) When we see our neighbor strangers perishing for grave want, have we forgotten the great mercies granted to us?
6) “pouring in oil and wine.” The only resources the Samaritan had to treat the man was the expensive oil and wine which he not only `applied’ but `poured’ into the man’s wounds. He spared no personal treasures in helping his charge. Do you not love this Good Samaritan?”
7) “set him on his own beast” The Samaritan would rather walk in order that the wounded man might ride. This is `mercy’ combined with `sacrifice’ – the kind of combination that the Lord loves.
8) “and brought him to an inn” The Samaritan is not concerned about his tight schedule. He takes time to take the best care of the wounded man. This is an expense as well, but he does not even consider it an expense. It is an obligation before God.
9) “and took care of him” I wish I had many friends as kind as this Samaritan Stranger. Actually, I do have ONE, and perhaps others of my friends who love that ONE. He continued, even at the end, to take time and trouble to treat the man.
10) “And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him” Apparently being convinced that the man would be well after rest and gentle treatment, the Samaritan departs to care for his pressing business in Jerusalem. But he does not forget the responsibility he has shouldered for the Jew. He PAYs even the innkeeper to continue caring for the Jew. “He doeth all things well!”
11) “and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” Had you ever considered ALL that the Good Samaritan did for this wounded Jew, or for that wounded soul that resides in your own heart? “Even if it costs me more, I will pay. I will pay to the uttermost.” Says the Good Samaritan, and thusly says our Lord Jesus Christ to you!