It takes presence of mind and awareness to respond in the Jesus way to injustice, a hurting person or the systematic abuse of others. We are not called to be people who walk by. We have to choose to have eyes that see and ears that hear. Old Testament passages articulate how widows, orphans and slaves are to be treated and also point out God’s disgust when we fail to respond in His way. The Bible gives us very real examples of how we are to respond with the compassion of Jesus.
Engage with God’s Word
Consider Luke 10:30-37.
- If no-one responded, what would have become of the man beaten by robbers? Would his circumstances have changed? Worsened?
- Why do you think the priest not only passed the man by, but also crossed to the other side? Are there situations where you may choose to avoid a situation, where maybe you could intervene? Why?
- Jews, Levites and priests did not associate in any way with Samaritans. Why did Jesus use these examples in this story? Who would be the equivalents for you today? Why?
- Consider the innkeeper, what was his part? Could the Samaritan man have achieved the same result on his own? Why? When has partnering with others multiplied impact in your life or the lives of others?
- At what point does something become personal for you? Share examples where you have become involved in caring for someone or addressing a justice issue. Is there a common theme for you?
Loving God can seem a whole lot easier than ‘loving your neighbor as yourself’. In this passage we are reminded that our neighbor is not necessarily the person who thinks, believes or behaves the same as us. Our responses need to be ‘the Jesus way’. No matter who the person needing care is, our response needs to be personal. Consider how to change your thinking or attitudes so you are ready to respond; think about who may partner with you. Start by choosing to listen to the Holy Spirit, check in on the person who comes to mind, build time into your life so you can respond.